The report indicated that the number of scams offering fake technical support in 2015 rose by 200%. An increase in ransomware attacks of 35% was also noted. The report revealed that hackers are now using more unknown software bugs to ensure the success of an attack, and that hacking groups are now beginning to resemble professional software companies.
Cybercriminals now have more resources, better skilled technical staff, and even work normal business hours, according to a statement from the director of Symantec security response, Kevin Haley. Some groups even have call-centres set up to ensure their success. The tech support scams are designed to fool people into thinking that there is a problem on their home computer and will charge them for ‘fixing’ it. These scams have been most successful in the US, France, UK, Germany, and Australia.
One approach from the hackers is to create a fake pop-up that will convince the computer user that there is a virus or other problem. In some cases, when the user rings for assistance they end up with ransomware on their computer due to providing the hackers with remote access.
Companies have also seen huge numbers of data security breaches. Login names, passwords, and a variety of other identifying information have been accessed. One breach in the US saw the data of 191 million people revealed for all to see online.