Study: Sharp Growth in Ransomware

Published On: November 30, 2020Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

SonicWall Capture Labs has released its third-quarter threat intelligence, highlighting cyber criminals’ growing use of ransomware, encrypted threats and attacks leveraging non-standard ports. On the positive side, overall malware volume declined for the third consecutive quarter.

The report leverages data from more than one million global security sensors.

“For most of us, 2020 has been the year where we’ve seen economies almost stop, morning commutes end and traditional offices disappear,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “However, the overnight emergence of remote workforces and virtual offices has given cybercriminals new and attractive vectors to exploit. These findings show their relentless pursuit to obtain what is not rightfully theirs for monetary gain, economic dominance and global recognition.”

The report shows a 39% decline in malware, a 40% surge in global ransomware a 19% increase in intrusion attempts, and a 30% rise in IoT malware.

SonicWall researchers observed a significant increase in Ryuk ransomware detections in 2020. Through Q3 2019, SonicWall detected just 5,123 Ryuk attacks. Through Q3 2020, SonicWall detected 67.3 million Ryuk attacks — a third (33.7%) of all ransomware attacks this year.

“What’s interesting is that Ryuk is a relatively young ransomware family that was discovered in August 2018 and has made significant gains in popularity in 2020,” said SonicWall Vice President, Platform Architecture, Dmitriy Ayrapetov. “The increase of remote and mobile workforces appears to have increased its prevalence, resulting not only in financial losses, but also impacting healthcare services with attacks on hospitals.

“Ryuk is especially dangerous because it is targeted, manual and often leveraged via a multi-stage attack preceded by Emotet and TrickBot malware,” he continued. “Therefore, if an organization has Ryuk, it’s a pretty good indication that its infested with several types of malware.”

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