Mobile Ransomware Detection Up 200 pc In Q2: Quick Heal

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 02, 2016

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Quick Heal Technologies announced the results of Second Quarter Threat Report for 2016. The Quick Heal report  is marked by a startling 200 per cent increase in mobile ransomware detection in Q2. This amounts to nearly 50 percent of the ransomware detected in all four quarters of 2015 combined. At the same time, the report notes a slight decline in the detection count of Windows and Android malware.

Through deployment of its Seqrite line of cloud-enabled IT security solutions for small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in North America and across global markets, Quick Heal is able to identify emerging threats that have the potential to impact worldwide businesses.

Read Also: Targeted Ransomware Attacks Steadily On The Rise

The Q2 Threat Report outlines the top malware afflicting Windows and Android users, with a brief summary of the most significant threats, including Godless, which is malware that is known to target devices running Android 5.1 Lollipop or earlier. Quick Heal also compares malware detection statistics between Q1 and Q2 while making note of emerging malware to watch in the months ahead.

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The report is highlighted by six key emerging threats and trends including:

1. Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) and Adware as a Vehicle for Ransomware: Given the free and widespread reach of the internet, adware has become a cash-generating machine for hackers. Adware and PUAs are now being laced with destructive functionalities and are capable of damaging or crashing boot sector records of infected computers. Additionally, adware is increasingly used for delivering ransomware into targeted systems. 

2. Ransomware Variants on the Rise: Ransomware variants will keep rising in the coming quarter, according to the report. For example, CryptXXX ransomware is now hitting targets with new and more advanced variants, and Locky ransomware is also being continuously updated with new internal coding and obfuscation techniques. In addition Domain Generation Algorithms (DGAs) could become a menace in the remainder of 2016 as more ransomware families take advantage of them. DGAs help malware evade security detections because they are not hard coded. Locky is one such malware that uses DGA. 

3. The Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) Trend: RaaS is another trend that is increasing in momentum. With RaaS, malware authors sell ransomware along with a customizable kit through the online black market. Interested cybercriminals can register and download them for free or for a nominal fee. Once the ransomware file is customized, it is then spread through a variety of infection vectors. 

4.Targeted Security Attacks on Major World Events: Targeted attacks are typically performed with a goal of stealing sensitive information for monetary or political gain. The upcoming U.S. presidential election is expected to be a major focus for these attacks as cybercriminals look to spread malware with destructive capabilities. 

5.Vulnerabilities Tied to Mobile Wallets: Mobile wallets and other new payment technologies have simplified online shopping. But, at the same time, they have opened up new avenues for hackers. Credit card data theft and fraud are expected to rise in the months ahead as a result of the increased use of these payment practices. 

6. Internet of Things (IoT) Security Issues Advance: IoT devices are making personal and business operations more convenient than ever. But, as the IoT market grows, security gaps are beginning to open up new opportunities for attackers.

Read Also: Ransomware: Hackers Infiltrating Secured Systems

The report also found a rise in Windows phone malware in the quarter, while PUAs grew 5% in second quarter from the first quarter of the year. Another area of concern with respect to online threats is banking malware. 

With mobile internet banking on the rise and almost all banks developing dedicated apps for banking, hackers are looking to leverage this as a lucrative opportunity to trick users.