Cyber Security

12 Things You Didn't Know About Malware

Written by Victoria Wilson

We've got malware on the brain.

Have you heard? The race is on to solve the Cyber Clues and find out who let the malware into one modern-day office, where and what type it is!

All this investigating has got us digging deeper into some different types of malware and how they affect your IT network and infrastructure.

How dangerous is malware really? And what can you actually do to avoid becoming a statistic?


Malware stands for malicious software, coded and intended to cause damage to the system where it embeds or copies itself. Malware relies on assistance through clicks or connected devices in order to wreak its intended havoc, which means that vigilance is a simple and important way to prevent malware infection and its disastrous results.

Nowadays, malware is commonly delivered through phishing emails with infected attachments. These can be incredibly difficult to spot, especially as hackers improve their social engineering tactics.

Here are 12 surprising things you may not have known about Malware:

Ransomware

Ransomware blocks or leaks access to data or your network unless a ransom is paid. It’s the most common form of attachment and can affect any size of organisation.

1) In 2018, the average cost of a ransom rose to £852! (Source

2) In 2018, research by Beazley found that small-to-medium sized businesses, which tend to spend less on information security, were at a higher risk of being hit by ransomware than larger firms.

DDoS

Also known as a distributed denial of service. DDoS is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming and flooding it with traffic from multiple sources.

3) 32% of serious DDoS attacks coincided with a network intrusion (Source). 

4) The average hourly cost of a DDoS attack has risen to £15,800-£31,600 according to recent surveys (Source). 

Security Bug

A security bug introduces security vulnerabilities by compromising one or more of authentication of users and other entities.

5) 95% of mobile applications scanned by Trustwave contained at least one vulnerability, with a median total of 6.5.

6) The number of vulnerabilities patched in five of the most common database products was 148, up from 119 in 2017 (Source). 

Rootkit

Rootkit is a set of software tools that enable an unauthorised user to gain control of a computer system without being detected.

7) 28% of security pros rank unauthorised file transfers as their top insider threat worry (Source). 

8)  A rootkit is not malware in the usual sense. Its specific capability lies in hiding files and processes from other applications as well as the operating system malware from virus scanners and security solutions (Source). 

Worm

Worms are a parasite. A malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining active on infected systems.

9) 33% of detected exploits are of Adobe Flash, up 28.2 percentage points from the previous year (Source). 

10) Instant messaging software (including the extremely popular Facebook Messenger) are one of the most common ways for computer worms to spread, disguised as jpeg images (Source). 

Trojan Horse

Often disguised as legitimate software, users are tricked by social engineering into loading and executing the malware onto their system. Once activated, it’s straight access for the cyber-criminals into the system!

11) Trojan horse virus Ramnit largely affected the financial sector in 2017, accounting for 53 percent of attacks (Source). 

12) The industry with the highest number of attacks by ransomware is the healthcare industry. Attacks will quadruple by 2020. (CSO Online)

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