According to the Europol cybercrime report, ransomware remains a key malware threat. However, cryptojacking malware may soon take the #1 spot.
Ransomware attacks can result in millions upon millions of dollars in damages to organisations, making them a potent weapon in the hands of nation-state attackers and cybercriminals.
Here are a few key recent examples:
The figures in the report suggest that organisations have sustained a loss of roughly $5bn as a result of these attacks. Crypto families such as Locky, CTBLocker, Cryptolocker, Cerber, Dharma and Crysis have wreaked the most havoc upon various businesses in the last 12 months.
Still, the trends are always changing. Locky used to be the most prolific form of ransomware, but it seems to have disappeared this year. Spam campaigns have become less common, while highly-targeted attacks against specific organisations have become a more prevalent threat.
The report indicates that fewer attacks are directed towards citizens and that businesses are the more frequent targets. Since there is a greater potential profit margin there, this is self-explanatory.
Europol has also issued a warning to remain on your guard against cryptojacking malware, the kind that hijacks your system’s resources and uses them to mine cryptocurrency. Unless hackers push it too far and overtake the entire system’s resources, this type of ransomware often goes unnoticed.
Moreover, Europol warns that data-stealing malware is still a threat, and governments and businesses, especially those operating in the financial sector, are often targeted.