Ransomware detections against businesses rose 90% in 2017

Ransomware attacks against consumers have risen 93 percent in 2017, while ransomware against businesses rose 90 percent, according the Malwarebytes Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques: 2017 State of Malware Report.

Malwarebytes, a producer of malware prevention and remediation software, released its security research report outlining attack methodologies, tools and types of attacks. The report showcases the increasing number of cyberattacks including ransomware, banking Trojans, spyware, adware and cryptocurrency miners.

"The last year has certainly thrown us a few curveballs, with massive ransomware attacks, changes in malware distribution and the significant increase in cryptocurrency miners," said Marcin Kleczynski, Malwarebytes CEO. "With 2018 just getting started, these findings can help pave the wave for increased awareness, C-level participation and enhanced technologies to better protect both consumers and businesses."

Findings from the report include:

  • Ransomware remained the top choice for cybercriminals in 2017 with a monthly rate of attacks increasing 10 times compared to 2016. Between July and September 2017, there was a 700 percent increase in ransomware, making September the busiest month for ransomware attacks against businesses ever recorded. Most notable, the Globelmposter ransomware increased 341 percent from July to August followed by WannaCry increasing 375 percent from August to September.
  • Attacks from cryptominers, most likely driven by the increase in the popularity of cryptocurrency, increased significantly through compromised websites, malicious spam, exploit kit drops and adware bundlers.
  • The second half of 2017 saw a 102 percent increase in banking Trojan detections. Hijackers also rose 40 percent year-by-year, making them the mot common threat detected against businesses.
  • Consumer threats continue to rise as overall threat volume in 2017 increased 12 percent.
  • Adware increased 132 percent year-by-year, making up 40 percent of all consumer threat detections.

"Ransomware continued to dominate in 2017, with this tool of choice for hackers increasing 90 percent from the previous year," said Kleczynski. "What cybercriminals could not hold for ransom, they stole from businesses. For example, spyware is up 30 percent and hijackers are up 40 percent. Each year, we spend countless hours providing analysis on the methodologies, tactics and tools being used by cybercriminals to help our customers and partners protect against the most rampant and prolific threats affecting businesses and consumers worldwide."