There was a 300% jump in the number of ransomware attacks with over 930 million Windows malware detected in 2017 compared with 2016 and such attacks could be fiercer and more vicious in 2018, warned domestic IT security solutions provider Quick Heal Technologies Ltd.
"Year 2017 was dominated by several exploits leaked by Shadow Brokers such as EternalBlue, EternalChampion, EternalRomance and EternalScholar which were responsible for advanced ransomware campaigns such as WannaCry and Notpetya, and a few cryptocurrency mining campaigns. With the growing availability of exploit kits and ransomware-as-a-service, ransomware attacks are expected to become more vicious in 2018," Quick Heal said in a report.
The firm said with the sudden rise in bitcoin’s valuation, cryptocurrency miner malware became an attack vector for cybercriminals. In 2017, Quick Heal Security Labs detected over 14 million hits of cryptocurrency miners. It expects cryptojacking to explode in 2018 as the opportunity to discreetly use endpoints or systems to illegally mine cryptocurrency becomes more tempting.
The firm detected over 1 million Android malware in 2018. "The proliferation of fake apps and downloading of apps from third-party stores were the biggest mobile security concerns in 2017," it said in the report.
Towards the end of last year, cryptocurrency mining spread from PCs to smartphones where attackers targeted gaming, adult entertainment and browsing related apps, Quick Heal noted.
“The rising usage of advanced techniques by cybercriminals to propagate into endpoints indicates that the threat landscape will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated with each passing year,” said Sanjay Katkar, joint managing director and chief technology officer, Quick Heal.