SonicWall Capture Labs cyber threat researchers have disclosed a third-quarter threat intelligence report collected from the company’s more than 1 million worldwide security sensors. Year-to-date research findings through September 2020 draw attention to cybercriminals’ growing use of ransomware, encrypted threats, and attacks leveraging non-standard ports, whereas, on the whole, malware volume is reduced for the third consecutive quarter.
2020 has been the year where one can see economies almost discontinue, morning commutes stop, and the disappearance of traditional offices. On the other hand, the overnight emergence of virtual offices and remote workforces has given cybercriminals novel and attractive vectors to exploit. These findings show their persistent pursuit to get what theirs is not rightfully for, economic dominance, monetary gain, and global recognition.
Malware level plunging as Attacks More Targeted Expands
While cybercriminals and malware authors are still busy launching complicated cyber attacks, SonicWall research concludes that overall global malware volume gradually reduced in 2020. In a year-over-year comparison through the third quarter, SonicWall researchers have recorded about 4.4 billion malware attacks, which is dropped by 39% globally.
Regional comparisons reveal that Germany (-64%) and India (-68%) have once again seen a substantial drop-rate percentage, plus the United Kingdom (-44%) and the United States (-33%). Lesser numbers of malware do not mean it is going away ultimately. Relatively, this is part of a cyclical slump that can very easily right itself in a short duration of time.
Ransomware Ensue, Ryuk Responsible for Third of All Attacks
Ransomware attacks make daily headlines as they cause turmoil in municipalities, enterprises, healthcare organizations, and educational institutions. The researchers tracked aggressive growth during each month of Qqarter3, together with an enormous spike in September. While sensors in the U.K. (-32%), India (-29%), and Germany (-86%) recorded a decrease, the U.S. saw a shocking 145.2 million ransomware hits with a YOY increase of 139%.
Markedly, SonicWall researchers had observed a significant rise in Ryuk ransomware detections in 2020. SonicWall detected just 5,123 Ryuk attacks through Q3 2019. Whereas SonicWall witnessed 67.3 million Ryuk attacks — a third (33.7%) of all ransomware attacks this year.
Ryuk is a moderately young ransomware family that was discovered in August 2018. It has made substantial gains in popularity in 2020. The boost of remote and mobile workforces appears to have augmented its prevalence, consequentially financial losses, and high impact on healthcare services with attacks on hospitals.
Ryuk is highly dangerous as it targets manual and often benefited through a multi-stage attack preceded by TrickBot and Emotet malware. Thus, if an organization has Ryuk, it indicates that it is contaminated with several types of malware.
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