The explosion of cryptocurrencies around the world has seen the inevitable rise of cryptomining.
Another inevitability is this leading to rampant cybercrime. Check Point has published the first instalment of its 2019 Security Report that delves into the tactics cybercriminals are using to attack organisations worldwide, in addition to the key malware trends and techniques used over the past year.
“From the meteoric rise in cryptomining to massive data breaches and DDoS attacks, there was no shortage of cyber-disruption caused to global organisations over the past year,” says Check Point Software Technologies chief marketing officer Peter Alexander.
“Threat actors have a wide range of options available to target and extract revenues from organisations in any sector, and the first instalment of the 2019 Security Report highlights the increasingly stealthy approaches they are currently using.
According to the report, a whopping 37 percent of organisations globally were impacted by cryptomining last year. Obviously then, cryptominers occupied the top four most prevalent malware types for the year.
Despite the fall in value for cryptocurrencies, 20 percent of companies continue to be hit by cryptomining attacks every week. Check Point says the criminals behind cryptomining have also recently evolved to exploit high profile vulnerabilities and evade sandboxes and security products in order to expand their infection rates.
33 percent of organisations in 2018 were attacked by mobile malware, with Android OS clearly the more popular target after claiming all three of the top malware types. There were also several cases where mobile malware was even pre-installed on devices, and apps available from app stores that were actually malware.
The third most common malware type was bots, with 18 percent of organisations hit by bots that were then used to launch DDoS attacks and spread other malware. Check Point says bot infections were instrumental in nearly half (49%) of organisations experiencing a DDoS attack in 2018.
Once one of the most prominent forms of cybercrime, ransomware actually sharply declined in 2018 as it impacted only 4 percent of organisations.
Alexander says it's certainly an interesting time for cybersecurity as cybercrime becomes increasingly advanced.
“These multi-vector, fast-moving, large-scale Gen V attacks are becoming more and more frequent, and organisations need to adopt a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that prevents these attacks from taking hold of their networks and data,” Alexander concludes.