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November 20, 2015

DDOS, Ransomware & Angler: 5 key cybersecurity trends in Q3

List: The trends in cyber security from Q3 show a number of growing problems.

By Charlotte Henry

The last quarter saw clear trends in cyber security, and they are not exactly cheering. More powerful DDoS attacks, attacks on POS systems, increasingly destructive ransmoware, and ongoing issues in mobile to name but a few.

Here are some key highlights:


Ransomware getting more destructive

Ransomware has become increasingly prominent in recent months. Highly destructive crypto-ransomwre is also occupying a far greater chunk of the threat landscape. 81% of all ransomware found in Q3 2015 was crypto-ransomware, according to Trend Micro, with the remaining 19% the less destructive kind.

This compares to 72% and 28% respectively the quarter before, and a significant rise from the 1st quarter, where the split was 50/50.


DDoS – more of it, and more powerful

Versign, in its DDoS Trends report, found DDoS attacks are increasing in number, with the firms mitigating 53% more attacks quarter over quarter.

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Not only are there more attacks, but they are also becoming more powerful. The average attack size of DDoS attacks increased 27% in Q3 2015 from the quarter before, from 7.03GBPs from 5.53 GBPs, with 1 in 5 peaking at over 10MBPs.

29% of attacks were against IT services, cloud or SAAS firms, while media firms were the second most commonly targeted, at 26%.


Huge jump in POS attacks

Trend Micro said detection of malware against on Point of Sale (POS) systems increased 66% in its look back at Q3 2015. The problem particularly effected SMBs.

Some examples of attacks on PoS systems include a RAM scraper being put onto devices via the Angler exploit kit, a reconnaissance Trojan that evaded detection by being fileless, and a new GamaPOS variant working with the Andromeda botnet.


Mobile malware is a menace

The growing proliferation of mobile devices continues to be a significant challenge in the security landscape. On Android devices, Trend Micro identified the media server vulnerabilities as becoming an active target this quarter, with attackers exploiting at least 5 different vulnerabilities in the services. iOS is not immune in its walled garden though, as the XCode ghost attack in Q3 revealed.

In its 2015 Security Report, Check Point identified that the 91% increase in personal devices connecting to corporate network it had found was as a major security issue.


Angler exploit kit retains its dominance

The Angler exploit kit retained its dominance in Q3, being hosted by 2.4m URLs, according to Trend Micro, up from 1.8m the quarter before. This represents 34% quarter on quarter growth.

Attackers used it to go after computers as well as POS systems, and the Adobe Flash zero-day exploit found its way onto their, after the Hacking Team leak.

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