Real-time Hacker Attack Interactions Still Rising: Security Research

Many cybercriminals are increasingly launching "hacking attacks," i.e. cyberattacks that involve direct interaction with victims in real time, according to a recent analysis conducted by Panda Security anti-malware laboratory PandaLabs.

The "PandaLabs Quarterly Report Q1 2017" revealed cybercriminals attacked 2.45 percent of business devices in the first three months of 2017. Comparatively, cybercriminals attacked 2.19 percent of home devices during this time frame.

In addition, the report showed Indonesia (12.87 percent) and Taiwan (9.21 percent) ranked at the top of the list of countries with the highest attack index in Q1 2017, while Finland (0.34 percent) recorded the fewest number of machines attacked in the period.

Cyberattack Trends in Q1 2017

The PandaLabs Q1 2017 report examined cyberattack trends in several areas, including:

  • Ransomware: Ransomware attacks "are still on the rise," according to PandaLabs. These attacks also will continue to increase in size and severity "as long as victims keep paying hefty ransoms," PandaLabs stated.
  • Cybercrime: Cybercrime is becoming more professional than ever before, PandaLabs noted, and highly specialized cybercrime groups are launching sophisticated cybercrime attacks regularly.
  • Mobile Devices: Malware is becoming exceedingly valuable to cybercriminals who want to launch attacks on mobile devices, PandaLabs indicated.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Although the IoT is still relatively new, many cybercriminals have shown they are able to successfully attack IoT-enabled devices, PandaLabs stated.
  • Cyberwarfare: There is a strong link forming between cybercrime and politics, a trend that appears likely to continue over the next few years, PandaLabs pointed out.

Furthermore, the number of cyberattacks is increasing every day, PandaLabs stated, and organizations must understand how to identify and address cyber threats before they escalate.

Key Factors That Are Driving Successful Cyberattacks

PandaLabs indicated there are three factors that are driving successful cyberattacks:

  • Increase in sophisticated threats and attack vectors, and a rising number of cyberattacks globally.
  • More complex IT environments, with an overabundance of devices, systems and connections.
  • Traditional antivirus solutions that do not evolve as quickly as cyberattacks.

PandaLabs also pointed out the motive has changed for many cybercriminals.

Today's cybercriminals are no longer seeking notoriety, according to PandaLabs; instead, they target economic gains.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.