Cyber-attackers switching to Covert Tactics

Cyber-attackers switching to Covert Tactics

Researchers say cybercriminals are moving away from mass, high-profile attacks to ones that are stealthy and more subtle – as well as attacks targeting systems typically used in critical infrastructure.

According to the latest mid-year security roundup report from security firm Trend Micro, Illicity cryptocyrrency mining, also known as cryptojacking, is having the biggest impact so far this year.

The report reveals a 96% increase in cryptojacking detections in the first half of the year compared with the whole of 2017, and a 956% increase in detections compared with the first six months of 2017.

The report said that this indicated cybercriminals are shifting away from the quick payout of ransomware in favour of the slower, behind-the-scenes approach of stealing computing power to mine digital currency.

Bharat Mistry, Principal security strategist for Trend Micro, said: “The recent change in the threat landscape mirrors what we’ve seen for years – cyber criminals will constantly shift their tools, tactics and procedures to improve their infection rates.

“Standard spray and pray ransomware attacks and data breaches had become the norm, so attackers changed their tactics to be more covert, using entry vectors not previously seen or used extensively,”

Another shift in the first half of the year is toward unusual malware types, such as fileless malware, macro malware and small file malware.

Trend Micro recorded a 250% increase in detections of one particular small file malware TinyPOS, compared with the second half of 2017, which the report said may be due to the increased ability of these malware types to circumvent defences that use only one type of security protection.

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