Hackers now executing low-profile attacks to steal money: Trend Micro

Bengaluru, Aug 30: Cybercriminals are moving away from attention-grabbing ransomware attacks to more covert methods intended to steal money and valuable computing resources globally including in India, cyber security leader Trend Micro said on Thursday.

Crypto-jacking — where a hacker steals cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin from digital wallets — attempts are making the biggest impact so far this year, said the report titled Midyear Security Roundup 2018.

Trend Micro recorded a 96 per cent increase in cryptocurrency mining detections in the first half of 2018 compared to all of 2017, and a massive 956 per cent increase in detections versus the first half of 2017.

This indicates that cybercriminals are shifting away from the quick payout of ransomware in favour of the slower, behind-the-scenes approach of stealing computing power to mine digital currency.

In the wake of several breaches over the last few years, the country is reeling under the spate of attacks that have compromised databases belonging to banking institutions, government email servers, and Indian enterprises at large, said Nilesh Jain, Vice President-South East Asia and India, Trend Micro.

We have also seen few Public Cloud providers getting compromised this year. Next year, the customers who don’t take adequate measures to their applications or data which are hosted in Public Cloud, might even get compromised, he added.

Another shift in the first half of the year is toward unusual malware types, such as fileless, macro and small file malware.

Trend Micro recorded a 250 per cent increase in detections of one particular small file malware TinyPOS compared to the second half of 2017.

The recent change in the threat landscape mirrors what we’ve seen for years that cybercriminals will constantly shift their tools, tactics and procedures (TTPs) to improve their infection rates, said Jon Clay, Director of Global Threat Communications for Trend Micro.

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