Malware warning: Ransomware up, phishing down – and here’s how crooks are changing their tricks

Steve Ranger reports:

The volumes of malware in general and ransomware in particular have increased again for the third year running, and as well as pumping out more attacks, cyber crooks are also altering their techniques.

Global malware volume is up for the third straight year, with security company SonicWall recording 10.52 billion malware attacks in 2018 via a network of one million sensors the company has deployed in its customers networks.


The company said that hackers are shifting their approach, switching from scripts and executables to hiding malware in PDFs and Office files: SonicWall found new malware variants hidden in 47,073 PDFs and 50,817 Office files in 2018. It also said it found that 19.2 percent of all malware attacks came across non-standard ports in 2018, an 8.7 percent year-over-year increase., which are thus harder to identify and block. While the levels of ransomware hitting the US increased significantly, some countries saw a decline in attacks – the UK and India saw 59 and 49 percent reductions in ransomware volume, respectively.

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