Mobile Malware, Ransomware Increases in 2014

By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 04-30-2014 Email Print this article Print

CYREN Ltd., a provider of Internet security solutions, released its first annual "Security Yearbook," which documents last year's Internet security trends. The report noted the continued increase in mobile malware, ransomware and targeted attacks, as well as a glimpse into security trends for 2014. CYREN analyzed 4 trillion security transactions worldwide, which averages 10 to 15 billion transactions per day. "Last year was a challenging year for Internet security featuring high-profile breaches and ever-changing cybercrime tactics," says CYREN CTO Lior Kohavi, "and 2014 brings with it an added emphasis on mobile malware, and the bad guys continuing to target under-protected mobile devices. They're also employing increasingly clever and localized campaigns." The report found that the number of phishing Websites increased by 264 percent last year, with PayPal being the number-one target of phishing campaigns. On average, 750 new phishing Websites targeted PayPal users every day. Also, malware URLs increased by 131 percent. Spam levels, however, continued to decrease but remained significant at 78 billion emails. For the full report (registration required), click here.

  • Spam Levels Dropped

    72% of e-mail traffic is unwanted advertising, but the amount of it dropped last year because more botnets were traced and removed. As a result, cyber gangs distributed malware through malicious links instead attachments.
    Spam Levels Dropped
  • Big Shift Toward Smartphones and Tablets

    Smartphones and tablets outsell desktops by a factor of 10, are a lucrative new target for cyber gangs and "offer other ways to generate a return beyond 'classic' spam distribution," according to the CYREN report.
    Big Shift Toward Smartphones and Tablets
  • Rise in Ransomware Expected

    Ransomware—malware that locks down a computer and the owner is threatened with destruction of his or her data unless they pay to unlock it—is rising.
    Rise in Ransomware Expected
  • Steady Growth of Android Malware

    An average of 5,768 types of Android malware was found per day for the last six months of 2013. Short Message Service Trojan: 73% , Adware: 12%, Backdoor information stealer: 8%, Other: 7%
    Steady Growth of Android Malware
  • Malware Rises

    The number of malware URLs increased 131% last year. Education sites were the most common category, followed by travel, sports and pornography.
    Malware Rises
  • Web Exploit Kits Also Increase

    Web exploit kits affect those who visit infected Websites that enable an invisible script to scan their computers. It chooses the right malware to exploit vulnerabilities associated with the user's browser, OS, PDF reader, etc. They lure victims with posts on social networking sites or e-mail messages with embedded links, often using current news events as bait.
    Web Exploit Kits Also Increase
  • Bait Used by Exploit Kits

    Many exploit kits use current events as a lure. Last year's most popular baits included: September Syria Event: Fake CNN and BBC news links to malware Websites, March Election of Pope: Fake results and fake child abuse rumors, July Royal Baby: Fake status updates and fake live hospital cam
    Bait Used by Exploit Kits
  • A Growth in Phishing URLs

    Phishing URLs increased by 264% in 2013. The top phishing categories were: free web pages, education, sports, computers and technology, small shopping and small business sites
    A Growth in Phishing URLs
  • Spam Levels Decrease

    Spam averages 72% of all e-mail traffic globally. Although it has decreased, the absolute number of messages sent daily remains significant, averaging 78 billion e-mails. By the end of 2013, the average dropped to 57 billion e-mails a day.
    Spam Levels Decrease
  • Security Outlook For 2014

    Viruses, Trojans and spam will become smarter, faster and mobile. Besides event spam, phishing, short malware outbreaks and increased mobile malware, you should be on the outlook for the return of well-established spam techniques, like ASCII spam for using pictures with disruptive pixels, because they can still bypass some traditional filters.
    Security Outlook For 2014


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