Bitdefender, a Romanian cybersecurity company, has released its latest Consumer Threat Landscape Report, revealing top cybersecurity threats, frequency of threats and cybercrime trends of 2020.
“Our 2020 findings depict consumers under constant assault from cybercriminals looking to capitalize on fear and societal uncertainty accompanying the global pandemic,” said Bogdan Botezatu, director of threat research and reporting at Bitdefender. “Cybercriminals will stop at nothing to use outlier events and human empathy to line their pockets. As the pandemic continues, we are constantly seeing attacks evolve through malware delivery mechanisms, inventive social engineering and new exploits.”
The report is based on the analysis of quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year data derived from Bitdefender’s Global Protective Network (GPN) that performs billions of queries per day on millions of endpoints and uses advanced algorithms to identify various threats and attack patterns.
Among the key findings, ransomware attacks continue to soar worldwide. Overall, ransomware attacks grew an astounding 485% in 2020 when compared to 2019. Attacks in the first and second quarter of 2020 accounted for 64% of all attacks or 19% higher than the first two quarters of 2019.
Devices with proprietary operating systems (often in IoT) make up 34% of what consumers own and responsible for 96% of all detected vulnerabilities. Bitdefender saw an incredible 338% increase in Smart TV vulnerabilities when compared to 2019.
As consumers flocked to video conferencing and sought information about COVID-19, criminals took advantage by hosting fake Zoom download sites and distributing malware-laden apps to spy on users and steal personal data. Thirty-five percent of all Android malware detected came from the Android.Trojan.Agent family followed by Android.Trojan.Downloader at 10% and Android.Trojan.Banker at 7%.
In addition, the number of vulnerabilities found in network attached storage devices increased by 198% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020. While NAS devices may not be amongst the most prevalent devices in homes, they potentially pack the highest number of unpatched vulnerabilities, according to BitDefender.
The new report outlines how ransomware, spam, mobile malware and other threats continued to evolve in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak.