The year saw many types of internet threats being active, and the most popular ones were, Drive-by exploits, SMS scams, Ransomware and Phishing mails. Gone are the good old days where a virus just played pranks or caused minor damages. Unfortunately, things are now much more dangerous, and the cyber-attacks now are even more than the phishing emails and SMS scams. According to the latest released Malwarebytes Threat Report Information, the security attacks involving perilous malware are expected to be more and more frequent next year – with ransomware being on the rise!
Now that the year is drawing to end, Malwarebytes has come up with its detailed report about the major threats we met this year.
This is one of the detestable malware we faced attacks this year. This ransomware enters your computer network and encrypts your files using public-key encryption, and unlike other malware this encryption key remains on the hacker’s server. Attacked users are then asked to pay huge ransoms ranging $300-$400 to receive this private key. Hackers usually use the exploit kid to spread this hateful malware.
The Phone scams come in the same way as the fake Anti-Virus programs land up in your computer system asking for an immediate clean-up. It threatens the user saying that there are tons of malware on their system, and they have to pay for the clean-up software.
“In 2013, we have seen scammers pose as Microsoft, pose as an antivirus company, pretend they can remove malware from a Mac, claim that not being able to connect to an inactive web server means you are infected and even pose as law enforcement and much more”
This malware most commonly attacked in the form of SMS Trojans, which is perilous software which makes premium phone calls or send premium cost text messages from without the phone owner’s permission. Users notice this malware attack only when they get the unexpected huge bills.
These attacks were mainly seen in Eastern Europe, but have increased substantially which shows that we are going to deal with much more in the near future.
The Blackhole Exploit Kit
BlackHole Exploit Kit was one of the most commonly faced malware attack in 2012-2013 where attackers setup drive-by attacks. It came with different malware like Zeus Trojan, ZeroAccess Rootkit, Reveton Ransomware, and more.
The hackers setup their own web servers from the Exploit Kits sold on black markets and cyber-crime forums. The Exploit Kits were planted, and once a user visited an exploit page, the malware would be installed.
However, use of the kit has decreased due to the lack of updates and arrest of ‘Paunch’ the alleged creator of the kit.
DDoS attacks against banks
There were many bank attacks and hacks in news headlines this year and one of the most popular attacks was against US Banks in the month of August where hackers attacked the bank accounts with distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks have been used to divert the attention of security personnel while millions of dollars were stolen from banks by infiltrating the banking systems.
PUPs, commonly known as ‘Potentially unwanted programs’ are less harmful but more annoying malware. It installs unwanted software in your system including search agents and toolbars. Bitcoin miner was one of the most commonly noticed PUPs in 2013.
Online threats predictions
While these threats gained huge attention this year, security firm Malwarebytes believes the some of these malware are expected to evolve further. These forms will see a rise:
- Ransomware will evolve and attacks increase
- Mobile and Device based Malware will increase
- Attacks to exploit vulnerabilities in user’s firmware and hardware will rise
- 2014 will have more attacks against Mac operating systems.
“We will see ransomware making more of a presence on previously less targeted platforms, such as OS X and mobile devices.”
Furthermore, the company also states that the tablets and Smartphone will be more prone to such attacks next year. While countries like Russia will face more of SMS-based scams, Western countries will notice an increase in malware which may steal your credentials and purchase some unwanted apps for your device. These malware may also add your devices to botnets for DDoS attacks. Firm further reports that, Mac operating systems are also more prone to such cyber-attacks next year.
Check out the full and detailed Malwarebytes 2013 Threat Report here to learn more about the biggest malware threats sprung this year…and the ones you should be careful about in 2014.