2015 has been the year that the phrase “Cyber Crime” went mainstream, became cool, and also the year that saw next to exponential growth with everything and anything to do with cybersecurity. That is at least according to Kaspersky in their overall summary for the last 12 months.
The report, entitled, Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2015, Overall statistics for 2015, shows some worrying trends. Highlights of the report show that in 2015, there were:
- 1,966,324 attempted malware infections that aimed to steal money via online access to bank accounts.
- Ransomware programs were detected on 753,684 computers of unique individual computers.
- 179,209 computers were targeted by encryption ransomware
- 24% of web attacks neutralized by Kaspersky Lab products were carried out using malicious web resources located in the US.
*These figures only show computers and devices protected by Kaspersky software
Kaspersky Lab solutions blocked attempts to launch malware capable of stealing money via online banking on 1,966,324 computers, this year, a growth of 2.8% from 2014. The peak months for attacks on financial institutions was between February and April.
2015 also proved to be an “interesting year for Ransomware.” Ransomware has come a long way in a very short space of time since the emergence of Cryptolocker in 2013. Encryption based ransomware also made its presence felt on Android OS as well, and was responsible for 17% of known infections to the Google operating system. But it wasn’t just Android that took a hit. 2015 also saw the first instance of ransomware on Linux, but due to an inception error by the malware authors, Linux users were able to decrypt their files without handing over cash.
Countries most at risk of online infection for users:
Well it’s bad news if you live in Russia. Russians faced the highest risk in the world of online infection, with almost 50% of “unique” users facing some form of infection from internet related activity. However, 34.2% of computers globally faced an attack at least once while users were actively online.
Kaspersky notes that 2016 might not all be doom and gloom, despite the advancement of encryption based ransomware. Kaspersky was happy to report that web-browser developers have begun to take active steps themselves to protect their users from malware and online attacks, closing loopholes and instigating their own defenses against web attacks of all kinds.
Main trends of 2015:
In an effort to avoid prosecution, Kaspersky has identified a trend whereby, cyber criminals are switching from direct malware attacks and are instead resorting to the aggressive use of adware, to make it harder for law enforcement agencies to track them. At the same time, hackers have also mastered other non-Windows based platforms, diversifying their attacks for maximum effectiveness.
Kaspersky expects the major trend in 2016 by cyber-criminals will be continue to develop and launch encryption based ransomware that will continue to target non-windows based operating systems, such as Linux and Android, and that Apple will also experience its own custom designed ransomware.