It turns out we had no idea how popular and prevalent mobile malware is, and how much it is in use for surveillance and espionage campaigns. In reality, there are many active actors and advanced persistent threats we never knew existed.
There are a lot of apps you can download on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. That’s obvious. What’s not so obvious is that even though both companies do a pretty good job of (mostly) catching malware apps, there are still plenty that sneak through because they just toe the line between scammy and barely helpful.
It’s not just botnets that can hijack PCs for nefarious ends. Microsoft and Cisco’s Talos researchers have identified a new malware strain, Nodersok (or Divergent), that uses web apps to turn systems into proxies for malicious internet traffic.
A noticeable shift in the methodology for developing malware is taking place, and it can’t go unaddressed. A few years ago, attackers’ primary objective was to avoid detection – second only to making a profit. But recently, these criminals have realized a critical truth: the longer they hold an infected endpoint, the more their profit increases.
Companies are in a cybersecurity arms race. Attackers have easy access to more tools as the lines between state actors and criminal gangs fade. Malware and identity theft kits are easy to find and inexpensive to buy on dark web exchanges. AI-enabled attack kits are on the way, and we can expect that they will be readily available at commodity prices in the next few years.
Open Source software is always trustworthy, right? Last year, Bertus broke a story about a malicious Python package called “Colourama”. When used, it secretly installs a VBscript that watches the system clipboard for a Bitcoin address and replaces that address with a hardcoded one. Essentially this plugin attempts to redirects Bitcoin payments to whoever wrote the “colourama” library.
It’s no surprise that spending on security technology continues to soar. Nevertheless, data breaches and cyber attacks make headlines at an incredible rate, with no relief in sight. The Online Trust Alliance reported that attacks in 2017 came from a myriad of vectors, such as phishing and ransomware, and that the number of attacks doubled to nearly 160,000 incidents per year over 2016. What’s worse, estimates for the number of unreported attacks exceed 350,000 annually.
Employees conducting attacks on their own employees – known as insider threats – are becoming increasingly common and costly. According to a CA report, over 50% of organizations suffered an insider threat-based attack in the previous 12 months, while 25% say they are suffering attacks more frequently than in the previous year. 90% of those organizations claimed to feel vulnerable to insider threats.
It seems that the numerous benefits of cloud computing make the disruption of digital transformation worthwhile. However, a recent torrent of automated attacks on cloud infrastructure’s vulnerabilities has precipitated a somewhat gloomy outlook.