Ransomware dominates attacks and new malware targets Unix systems

ransomware laptop

Ransomware now accounts for 69 percent of all attacks involving malware, according to the latest threatscape report from Positive Technologies.

The researchers have also identified a growing pattern of new malware specifically designed to penetrate Unix systems.

"We've got used to the idea that attackers distributing malware pose a danger to Windows-based systems," says Yana Yurakova, information security analyst at Positive Technologies. "Now we see a stronger trend of malware for attacks on Unix systems, virtualization tools, and orchestrators. More and more companies, including larger corporations, now use Unix-based software, and that’s why attackers are turning their attention to these systems."

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Elsewhere the research also reveals that the volume of attacks on government bodies in particular have soared from 12 percent in the first quarter of 2021 to 20 percent in Q2.

The rise in ransomware attacks -- a 45 percent jump in the month of April alone -- should be a cause for concern. Positive Technologies has identified a ban by Dark Web forums on the publication of posts regarding ransomware operators' partner programs. This indicates that in the near future, these 'partners' may no longer have a distinct role and ransomware operators themselves could take over the task of assembling and supervising teams of distributors.

The retail industry has seen a sharp decrease in attacks with 'web skimmers,' accompanied by a rise in interest among ransomware distributors. Ransomware attacks on retailers accounted for 95 percent of all attacks using malware. This is likely because previous attacks in this industry mostly targeted data -- payment details, personal information, credentials, etc. Now, they pursue financial gains more directly through demanding ransoms. The volume of social engineering attacks targeting retail has also increased from 36 percent in Q1 2021 to 53 percent in Q2.

The full report is available from the Positive Technologies site.

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