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Trend Micro finds shifting threats require kiwis to rethink security priorities
Posted on 28-Feb-2019 09:27 | Filed under: News

Trend Micro Incorporated has released its 2018 Security Roundup Report, which depicts a threat landscape that has evolved heavily through both approach and tactics to target consumers. Shifts in attacks that consumers should be aware of are Internet of Things (IoT) security incidents including router-based attacks, the rapid growth of cryptocurrency mining, which increased 237 percent compared to 2017 and phishing URL detections, which increased 269 percent in the same time. Additionally, Trend Micro found that New Zealand had significant malware detections in 2018, with 11,758,830 detections


“The changes across the threat landscape in 2018 reflect a change in cybercriminal’s mindset and the way they are targeting consumers,” said Tim Falinski, Senior Director, Consumer, APAC, for Trend Micro. “Today’s most prevalent attacks are targeted and well planned, as opposed to one-size-fits-all attacks of the past. Knowing this pattern, we’re developing products that can outsmart these attack methods and allow us to be one step ahead of the bad guys.”


“As cybercriminals take advantage of the proliferation of IoT devices through router-based attacks, cryptocurrency mining malware and phishing scams, New Zealand consumers need to think before they click both inside and outside the home. They should also consider what devices are connected to their home networks as these can become entry points for attackers.”


The trend of increasing functionalities of router-based attacks continued in 2018 as cybercriminals targeted these devices for cryptocurrency mining and pharming attacks. 42 percent of all router events detected by Trend Micro in 2018 were related to the Telnet default password login, shining light on the fact that routers shouldn’t be overlooked as a crucial part of internet connectivity. As New Zealanders continue to adopt smart home devices they need to be proactive and should take an approach to block threats at the router level so that even devices connected to routers are protected. This should be combined with multifactor authentication and strong password hygiene across all smart devices.


In 2018, phishing was also a popular method used to target unsuspecting Kiwis, and cybercriminals intensified their efforts to send out either more phishing emails or to craft higher-quality bait. This was seen in New Zealand with a range of targeted phishing scams relating to taxation, banking and airline services making their way into consumers’ email inboxes. Locally, Trend Micro blocked 59,222,798 email threats and 2,399,720 malicious URLs.


Another strong indicator of how the threat landscape is shifting can be seen in the types of threats that decline. Ransomware detections decreased by 91 percent compared to 2017, along with a 45 percent decrease in new ransomware families. This reinforces the shift in attack tactics, as ransomware does not require extensive planning, technical skills or ingenuity due to the large number of resources available for malicious hackers in the cybercriminal underground.


Trend Micro’s ongoing research and most advanced threat intelligence influences future product enhancements to ensure customers remain a step ahead of malicious actors.


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