Specialists dub global cybercrime situation serious

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    OVER 26.8 billion file-less threats globally were deployed by cybercriminals in the first half of 2019.

    This according to cybersecurity specialist Trend Micro, Inc. The company has blocked these hidden attacks which is about 265 percent higher compared to the same period in 2018.

    About 91 percent of those events were facilitated through email.

    In the mid-year annual roundup report “Evasive Threats, Pervasive Effects: 2019 Midyear Security Roundup,” the global cybersecurity solutions provider revealed how new generation cyberattacks are strategically aimed at businesses already running protection systems, emphasizing how vulnerabilities remain a cause for concern.

    “Sophistication and stealth is the name of the cybersecurity game today, as corporate technology and criminal attacks become more connected and smarter. From attackers, we saw intentional, targeted, and crafty attacks that stealthily take advantage of people, processes, and technology,” Trend Micro Philippines Country Manager Ian Felipe said.

    Another highlight of the report is the massive growth in the volume of threats that are not usually visible to the traditional security filters, including Exploit kits, or malware that can be seeded and executed in a system’s memory, registry, or legitimate apps/tools, which have declined in the past year, re-emerged with a 136 percent-jump year-on-year.

    Cryptocurrency mining (cryptomining or cyptojacking) malware was still the most detected threat in the period as attackers rampantly deploy such attacks on servers and even in cloud environments. Cyber criminals apparently see more opportunities amid continuously rising public interest in cyptocurrencies. The number of routers that are being used to facilitate possible inbound attacks increased by 64 percent, as more Mirai variants search for exposed devices.

    Digital extortion or ransomware incidences jumped by 319 percent still in the same period.

    Detections of business email compromise (BEC) scams rose by 52 percent (with businesses in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia getting more exposure), while other ransomware-related files, emails, and URLs increased by 77 percent in the six-month period.

    In the Philippines, top threats for the first half of 2019, according to Trend Micro Smart Protection Network are ransomware, Trojan downloaders, and file infectors. Such malware attempt to infect systems and networks through malicious websites visited by end users or through exploiting vulnerabilities.

    “Organizations need to have good patch management policies in place or an effective way or solution to handle unpatched OS, apart from training employees about safe browsing habits and other best practices,” Felipe advised.