Trend Micro has published its roundup report for the first half of 2019, revealing a surge in “fileless attacks,” which are stealth attacks executed in the system’s memory, or that reside in the system’s registry. As they don’t require files to be written or downloaded, these attacks leave no footprint and are designed to disguise malicious activity. Detections of this threat alone were up 265% compared to the first half of 2018. That’s some pretty alarming stuff!
The findings in 2019 so far confirm many of the predictions Trend Micro made last year. A key prediction last year was that attackers are increasingly smarter as they target businesses and environments that will give them the greatest “return on investment.”
“Sophistication and stealth are the name of the cybersecurity game today, as corporate technology and criminal attacks become more connected and smarter,”
Goh Chee Hoh, Managing Director for Trend Micro Malaysia
In the first half of the year, malware threats were detected and blocked close to 2.5 million times in Malaysia, the second place after Singapore in Southeast Asia. In addition, Malaysia ranks third in the region for blocking 3,568 banking malware threats during the same period.
Along with the growth in fileless threats in the first half of the year, attackers are increasingly deploying threats that can’t be detected by traditional security filters, as they can be quietly executed in a system’s memory, reside in the registry, or abuse legitimate tools.
These are toolkits used to attack system vulnerabilities and distribute malware or perform other malicious activities. Exploit kits contain exploits that can target common software such as Adobe Flash Player and Java.
With the rise of cryptocurrencies around the world, cryptomining malware – software programs and malware components developed to hijack a computers resources and use them for cryptocurrency mining without permission – remained the most detected threat in the first half of 2019, with attackers increasingly targeting servers and cloud environments.
In total, Trend Micro blocked more than 26.8 billion threats in the first half of 2019, over 6 billion more than the same period last year. Of note, 91% of these threats entered the corporate network via email.
Therefore, Goh emphasizes the need for all Malaysian enterprises, regardless of size, to strengthen their cyber defenses. As new touchpoints are introduced into an organization’s structure, it is crucial for them to be secured through a concerted effort that directly integrates cybersecurity into the organization’s IT strategy.
To read the complete report, Evasive Threats, Pervasive Effects: 2019 Midyear Security Roundup, click HERE.