Malware attacks down as ransomware increases


The latest Cyber Threat Report from SonicWall shows a 24 percent drop in malware attacks worldwide, while there’s been a 20 percent jump in ransomware globally and a 109 percent spike in the US.

There's also been a 176 percent increase in malicious Microsoft Office file types and a 50 percent rise in IoT malware attacks as cybercriminals seek to use devices as a backdoor to business networks via home workers.

"Cybercriminals can be resourceful, often setting traps to take advantage of people’s kindness during a natural disaster, panic throughout a crisis and trust in systems used in everyday life," says SonicWall's President and CEO Bill Conner. "This latest cyber threat data shows that cybercriminals continue to morph their tactics to sway the odds in their favor during uncertain times. With everyone more remote and mobile than ever before, businesses are highly exposed and the cybercriminal industry is very aware of that. It's imperative that organizations move away from makeshift or traditional security strategies and realize this new business normal is no longer new."

During the first half of 2020, global malware attacks fell from 4.8 billion to 3.2 billion compared to 2019's mid-year total. This drop is the continuation of a downward trend that began last November.

There are regional differences in both the amount of malware and the percentage change year on year, highlighting a shift in cybercriminal focus. For example, the US (-24 percent), UK (-27 percent), Germany (-60 percent) and India (-64 percent) all experienced reduced malware volume.

Ransomware though continues to be the most concerning threat to corporations and the preferred tool for cybercriminals, increasing 20 percent (121.4 million) globally in the first half of 2020. These attacks are particularly targeting the US which saw 79.9 million ransomware attacks (+109 percent) whereas the UK saw a six percent decline with only 5.9 million ransomware attacks.

The full report is available from the SonicWall site.

Photo Credit: LeoWolfert/Shutterstock

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