Malwarebytes, the advanced endpoint protection and remediation solution developer, has issued its latest quarterly threat report. Entitled ‘Cyber Crime Techniques and Tactics: Ransomware Retrospective’, this in-depth ransomware edition explores the shift in ransomware attacks from consumer targets through to organisations, businesses, municipalities and beyond, breaking out attack vectors and trends region by region for what’s described as an “unprecedented view” into ransomware behaviour.
As we approached Q2 2019, cyber criminals renewed a ransomware focus on businesses as consumer detections were poised to dip below business detections of ransomware for the first time. This could be deemed an expression of lost interest from cyber criminals on individual targets as they look to higher value opportunities.
Moving ahead into the second half of 2019, ransomware is expected to continue to evolve through manual and blended attacks with worm-like functionality, as well as more paired attacks with other malware families.
“This year, we’ve noticed ransomware making more headlines than ever before as a resurgence in ransomware turned its sights towards large, ill-prepared public and private organisations with easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities such as cities, non-profits and educational institutions,” said Adam Kujawa, director of Malwarebytes Labs. “Our critical infrastructure needs to adapt and arm itself against these threats as it continues to be target of cyber criminals, causing great distress to all the people who depend on public services and trust these entities to protect their personal information.”
Highlights from the report
*Overall ransomware detections against businesses between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019 have risen by 363%
*From 2018 to 2019, Malwarebytes saw a 235% increase in threats aimed at organisations from enterprises to small businesses, with ransomware as a major contributor
*Municipalities, educational institutions and healthcare organisations became prime targets, likely because of legacy infrastructure, outdated hardware and software applications plus lack of security funding in these sectors
*Top ransomware families overall include GandCrab, Ryuk, Troldesh, Rapid and Locky. For business detections there was a constant increase in detections of ransomware families, particularly in Ryuk and Phobos. Ryuk detections increased by 88% across the last quarter, while Phobos exploded by 940% from Q1 2019
*The rise and alleged retirement of GandCrab leading into the emergence of Sodinokibi ransomware (another Ransomware-as-a-Service using similar technical components
*Breakdown of ransomware by country (and state), with the US leading at 53% of detections followed by Canada at 10% and the UK at 9%