IoT malware grows over 200% during 2018

Creators of the Benevolent Linux.Wifatch Malware Reveal Themselves

Several malware variants showed significant growth this year

According to cybersecurity specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security, the amount of malicious software that affects Internet of Things (IoT) devices grew 72% in total this year. As for the malware in general, its presence increased by 200% with respect to the amount registered during the last year.

Cybersecurity experts believe that this behavior is mainly due to the increase in the practice of cryptojacking. A wide range of IoT devices, such as surveillance cameras or routers, had not been used for this kind of attacks because they did not have the characteristics and processing features of a laptop or desktop computer.

However, multiple malicious actors have opted to exploit the huge number of IoT devices that lack adequate security measures and began attacking them to create a gigantic illegal cryptocurrency mining network. Some new varieties of mining malware reported growth of 55% in addition; this type of attack to mine virtual assets grew 4000% during 2018.

Cybersecurity experts also reported a transition in the type of business that the cybercriminals do, as many have opted to create their own malicious tools and services. This change has brought with it a new business model for those who trade this kind of services outside the law.

“The cybercriminals are always looking for new areas of opportunity,” considers John Fokker, an expert in cybersecurity. “The big cyberthreats we know today began as small projects in some hidden Internet forums,” the expert mentions.

Among other data found this year, is the increase of attacks with malware that does not require files, which presents a 45% more than the previous year. In addition, the total number of publicly reported security incidents decreased by 12%, while the number of cyberattacks committed against financial institutions increased by 20 %. As for the regions of the world that suffered the most cyberattacks, this year the number of incidents recorded in Europe grew by 38%, while the figure for the American continent fell 18%, while in the Asia-Pacific region they fell by 22%.