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Check Point's New Report: Big Multi-Purpose Botnets and Targeted Ransomware Attacks

Check Point Research, the threat intel arm of Check Point, released its 2020 Cyber Security Report. The report found these key findings:

  • Cryptominers still dominate malware landscape – Even though cryptomining declined during 2019, linked to cryptocurrencies’ fall in value and the closure of the Coinhive operation in March, 38% of companies globally were impacted by crypto-miners in 2019, up from 37% in 2018. This is because the use of crypto-miners remains a low-risk, high-reward activity for criminals

  • Botnet armies surge in size – 28% of organizations globally were hit by botnet activity, an increase of over 50% compared with 2018. Emotet was the most common bot malware used, primarily because of its versatility in enabling malware and spam distribution services. Other botnet actions such as sextortion email activity and DDoS attacks also rose sharply in 2019.

  • Targeted ransomware hits hard – While the number of impacted organizations is relatively low, the severity of the attack is much higher – as seen in 2019’s damaging attacks against U.S. city administrations. Criminals are choosing their ransomware targets carefully, with the aim of extorting the maximum revenue possible.

  • Mobile attacks decline – 27% of organizations worldwide were impacted by cyber-attacks that involved mobile devices in 2019, down from 33% in 2018. While the mobile threat landscape is maturing, organizations are also increasingly aware of the threat, and are deploying more protection on mobiles

  • The year Magecart attacks became an epidemic – These attacks which inject malicious code into e-commerce websites to steal customers’ payment data hit hundreds of sites in 2019, from hotel chains to from commerce giants to SMBs, across all platforms.

  • Rise in cloud attacks – Currently more than 90% of enterprises use cloud services and yet 67% of security teams complain about the lack of visibility into their cloud infrastructure, security, and compliance. The magnitude of cloud attacks and breaches has continued to grow in 2019. Misconfiguration of cloud resources is still the number one cause for cloud attacks, but now we also witness an increasing number of attacks aimed directly at cloud service providers.

An increase of over 50% in companies that were hit by Botnet armies is pretty staggering. I'm curious to see how the rest of 2020 shakes out with impending nation-state attacks and hacktivists chomping at the bit.

For more info from Check Point's report, visit their website:


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