Unlike a biological virus, malware is continuously adopting new technologies and is evolving at a rapid pace. IT Security teams keep on developing antivirus software to keep their systems safe by detecting and removing malware, but it is still affecting more computer systems than ever before.
Recently in May 2019, Microsoft revealed a windows security vulnerability that could see a “wormable” attack which transmits from one system to another. This could be as devastating as WannaCry was in 2017. Microsoft also said that nearly 1 million systems could get attacked if not updated to their latest security update.
Malware infections have seen a rise in the past 5-7 years. Hackers mostly use it as their primary tool to steal user’s data. Though malware is likely to increase in the future as most of the users are now connected to the internet and they rely on websites, for banking, education, etc. and keep on transmitting information from one website to another. This increases the risk of getting malware in your device/system.
New threats are always in development, so as to stay ahead of the antivirus developers to gain users data.
In the above graph, we can see the malware trends (in millions) from 2010-2019. We can also see that the malware attacks are increasing with the increase in users being tech savvy and their increasing dependency on online services.
Let’s look at some of the malware and see how they are affecting the cyber world.
WannaCry – It was identified in 2017, which affected almost 4,00,000 computers which have older OS than Windows 7 and their security patch was not updated. Affected giants included FedEx from the United States, NHS from the UK, and Telco from Spain.
NotPetya – It also targeted an outdated window’s operating systems just after WannaCry. This malware cracks passwords of the users with the help of a password harvesting feature.
Cerber – This type of attack is done by sending a malicious email file to the user, which affects the system of the user. With this type of attack, the hacker steals the user’s information and uses it to get money as a ransom from the user to release his credentials — this type of malware saw an increase with the rise of Cryptocurrency.
RaaS – RaaS stands for Ransomware-as-a-Service. This type of malware attack is used by the hackers to make money by hacking and selling user’s data to other criminals who make such malicious software and transmit them via emails, spammy links, etc. These are the most used cyber-attacks by hackers in today’s world.
Emotet – It was once a banking Trojan, but the bot has evolved as a full-scale threat making it the most prevalent malware of 2019.
Botnets – Botnets can be used to perform DDOS attacks through which the attacker can access the device of the user as well as his connection. Botnets can also be used to steal data of the user or can send him spammy emails. It can also be used to target different types of devices. Self-organizing botnets swarms are expected to continue in 2019.
Cryptomining Malware – Attackers prefer this type of malware due to the increase of Cryptocurrency transactions happening all over the world these days. Cryptomining is a way to harness the power of a large number of computers and other electronic devices through which an attacker can make money by doing cryptojacking attack on the user and because of this experts says that Cryptomining will be there in 2019 as well. So Just Be Aware!!!
As cybercriminals continuously look out for making money from untapped sources, malware will increase. With the increase in transactions using Cryptocurrency, there is an increase in a number of malware attacks on users from their operating systems itself, and once the malware is deployed, then it keeps on sending the valuable information of the user to the hacker. The best way to stay out of all this is by keeping yourself and your system updated regarding malware.
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