Malware targeting IoT devices grew 72% in Q3 alone

Total malware samples grew 34% over the past year, with major rises in coinmining and fileless attacks, according to a McAfee Labs report.

IoT and the security challenges that tech companies face

Cybercriminals continue to develop sophisticated tactics for exploiting victims, according to a new report from McAfee Labs. An average of 480 new threats per minute appeared in Q3 2018, with new malware samples rising by 53%, the report found.

Malware attacks increasingly target Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which are rife with security issues. New malware targeting IoT devices grew 72% in Q3, and 203% in the last year overall, the report found. Cryptojacking has also massively grown in popularity among hackers, according to the report: New coinmining malware grew nearly 55% in Q3, and more than 4,467% in the last year. Fileless malware also remains a top concern, as new JavaScript malware grew 45% in Q3, while new PowerShell malware grew 24%, the report found.

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While no longer the new attack on the block, ransomware attacks continue to wreak havoc on businesses, the report found. GandCrab, one of the most active ransomware families in Q3, increase its required ransom payment from $1,000 to $2,400, according to the report, as exploit kits added support for vulnerabilities and ransomware. New ransomware samples grew 10% in Q3, while total ransomware samples grew 45% in the past year.

Malware led the pack in terms of disclosed attack vectors, the report found, followed by account hijacking, leaks, unauthorized access, and vulnerabilities.

"Cybercriminals are eager to weaponize vulnerabilities both new and old, and the number of services now available on underground markets has dramatically increased their effectiveness," Christiaan Beek, lead scientist at McAfee, said in a press release. "As long as ransoms are paid and relatively easy attacks, such as phishing campaigns, are successful, bad actors will continue to use these techniques."

For tips on how to protect your enterprise IoT devices, click here.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • An average of 480 new cyberthreats per minute appeared in Q3 2018. -- McAfee Labs, 2018
  • New malware targeting IoT devices grew 72% in Q3, and 203% in the last year overall. -- McAfee Labs, 2018

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