Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 23:13

Locky the biggest ransomware threat in 2016

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The encrypting ransomware Locky has been adjudged the malware winner of 2016 at a Malware Awards webinar presented by security company Webroot on Wednesday.

Presenter Tyler Moffitt (right), the company's senior threat research analyst, detailed the threat from Locky that seeks the lowest ransom of one Bitcoin (about $850), and account for the most victims per day – 90,000.

TylerMoffittLocky earns 2610 payouts each day which come to $1.3 million, all of which are made possible by innovative and broad phishing campaigns.

Also listed among the contenders were TeslaCrypt, Cerber, Crysis and CryptXXX, all of which have been in the news in recent times.

Android poses a massive threat, Moffitt said, pointing out that in the first six months of this year there had been a 300% growth in apps, more than 500% growth in malicious apps and more than 400% growth in potentially unwanted applications.

The threat from Android was made worse by the fact that Google Play was not as safe as made out, he said. During the height of the Pokémon Go craze, there were numerous malicious apps that rode on this wave and were able to make their home in this app store.

Moffitt also underlined the threat from the emerging Internet of Things, pointing out some interesting examples of threats which have come about due to the fact that every little gadget comes ready to connect to the Internet.

One case, from 2014, was that of a thermostat which an attacker had locked using ransomware and then threatened to set the temperature at 99 degrees unless the owner forked out US$300 in the next 24 hours.

locky big

For the most part, the webinar dealt with reported cases, with Moffitt pointing to the recent leak of the source code for the Mirai botnet as an indicator that DDoS threats would grow in the new year. Moffitt's presentation made it clear that a vast majority of the threats were to Windows users.

Webroot is a private company that provides Internet security for consumers and businesses. It was founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 1997, and is now headquartered in Broomfield in the same state.

It has operations in San Mateo and San Diego in the US, Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Japan and the United Kingdom.

thermostats

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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