Fileless Cyber Threats Surge in H1: Trend Micro

Clarke Velasco
More than 26.8 billion fileless threats were detected globally in the first half of 2019, a dramatic 265% surge compared to the number logged in the same period last year, highlighting a greater need to address the vulnerabilities still abound, according to global security solutions provider Trend Micro Inc.

Fileless Cyber Threats Surge in H1: Trend Micro
Fileless Cyber Threats Surge in H1: Trend Micro

In its mid-year annual report titled  “Evasive Threats, Pervasive Effects: 2019 Midyear Security Roundup," Trend Micro said the latest figure is already 18% more than the overall fileless events detected in the entirety of 2018. About 91% of those events were facilitated through email.

Another cause of concern is the significant growth in the volume of threats that are not usually visible to the traditional security filters deployed by the IT systems within organizations. Such malwares can be seeded and executed in a system’s memory, registry, or legitimate apps/tools. So-called exploit kits, which have declined in the past year, re-emerged with a 136% jump year-on-year.

Cryptocurrency mining malware still dominated the period as attackers relentlessly send them to servers and even in cloud environments amid rising interest in cryptocurrency. The number of routers that are being used to facilitate possible inbound attacks increased by 64%, as more Mirai variants search for exposed devices.

Digital extortion or ransomware incidences jumped by 319% still in the same period. Detections of business email compromise (BEC) scams rose by 52% (with businesses in the US, the UK, and Australia getting more exposure), while other ransomware-related files, emails, and URLs increased by 77% in the six months.

See Also: Trend Micro Launches Managed Detection and Response Center in PH

In the country, ransomware, trojan downloaders, and file infectors were the usual suspects of cyberthreats, according to the data gathered by the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network on the first half of 2019. Such malware attempt to infect systems and networks through malicious websites visited by end-users or through exploiting vulnerabilities.

“Sophistication and stealth is the name of the cybersecurity game today, as corporate technology and criminal attacks become more connected and smarter,” Trend Micro Philippines Country Manager Ian Felipe said. “From attackers, we saw intentional, targeted, and crafty attacks that stealthily take advantage of people, processes, and technology.”

The threats were discussed in the recent Security TRENDs 2019 conference held on September 3 at the Manila Shangri-La in Makati.

Insights from the research as well as recommended best practices were highlighted for the benefit of industry leaders, IT professionals, analysts, partners, and consumers.

With the theme “See. Secure. Go Further,” Security TRENDs urged organizations to have visibility through the power of collective and connected intelligence, allowing them to build cyber resilience and prepare for, withstand, and quickly recover from cyberattacks.

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