Agile isn’t just a watchword for software development. It has also found its way into the world of cybercrime. In 2018, we saw numerous instances of agility and innovation as bad actors evolved their approaches, combined attack vectors, and incorporated more artificial intelligence to wreak havoc. While traditional attack approaches are still going strong, new threats emerge every day, and new vectors are being tried and tested.
Looking at the data, the percentage of new files classified as malware or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) is still alarmingly high. Phishing continues to be a major threat, now targeting brands like Netflix, Amazon, and Target in hopes of exploiting people’s tendency to reuse passwords so criminals can, in turn, compromise other accounts like online banking. Ransomware declined somewhat, with cryptojacking and cryptomining taking its place and grabbing headlines for direct attacks as well as numerous scams. High-risk IP addresses continue to be a problem, especially for sending spam, and the majority come from just three countries. Plus, they continue to cycle from benign to malicious and back again to avoid detection. We’re also starting to see more attacks that target routers, allowing cybercriminals to access details about other devices on the network, and to sniff for unencrypted traffic and conduct man-in-the-middle and cryptojacking attacks. Criminals take advantage of the fact that these devices are often outdated, difficult for home users to log in to, and display few signs that they have been compromised.
At Webroot, we also focus on agility and innovation. Each year, we further refine our patented machine learning models, which we use to analyze actual data from 67 million real-world sensors around the globe, to help us predict emerging threats. The 2019 edition of our annual Threat Report details what we’ve learned about threat activity throughout 2018, and compares the data with that from years past. As always, we share our knowledge and insights so that you can combat cybercrime today, and in the year to come.