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Malware explained: How to prevent, detect and recover from it

What are the types of malware? How can you prevent, detect, or remove it? We've got answers.

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One reason for the spike in malware attacks on business might be the EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR). Kujawa believes it’s possible that attackers stepped up business attacks thinking that it would be harder to steal personal and other data after the regulation went into effect. That combined with the decline of cryptocurrency values and stepped up defenses against ransomware turned attackers to what worked in the past. “They always [go back to what works],” he says. “Cyber crime is cyclical. It always comes back around.”

Cryptomining attacks decline

The Malwarebyte Labs report has seen a shift away from cryptomining starting in the second quarter of 2018, due largely to the decline in cryptocurrency values. Still, the number of cryptomining detections increased for the year by 7 percent.

Instead, cyber criminals are turning to information stealing malware like Emotet to turn a profit. “Overall, it seems as though criminals have reached the consensus that sometimes stealing is better than mining,” the report stated.

Ransomware becoming more targeted

Kujawa notes that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are becoming more popular targets. He attributes this to the likelihood of being paid for ransomware attacks—SMBs often can’t afford the downtime and see paying ransom as the fastest way to recover. They also often softer targets than larger businesses.

Ransomware detections actually declined by 26 percent worldwide in 2018, according to the Malwarebytes report. However, ransomware detections at businesses rose by 28 percent. Industries most often targeted were consulting, education, manufacturing and retail. Kujawa believes criminals focus on these industries because of opportunity and likelihood of ransoms being paid.  

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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