One Million Pieces of Malware Released Every Day, Says Report

 In Technology

Symantec, makers of the famous Norton Antivirus Software, recently came out with a report on malware. The report paints a grim picture of where online security is headed. According to the report, more than 317 million pieces of malware were released last year.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to fend off attacks by malware which consist of trojan horses, worms, computer viruses, adware, spyware, scareware, ransomware and other types of malicious programs. Often, malware comes disguised or embedded in non malicious files.

2014 was a major year for cybercrime. There were several major cyber attacks on corporate servers, including North Korea’s hacker offensive on Sony for releasing the Seth Rogen starrer, The Interview. We also saw infections by the Heardbleed security bug which stole passwords and security keys from millions of internet users.

Malware breeding faster than security companies are able to suppress them

Symantec says that hackers are working faster than online security companies can respond. They are also launching more attacks than they did in the past. Data breaches and directed attacks have increased in volume. Five out of six big companies were attacked by these cyber criminals, a 40% increase in attacks over 2013. Some newer scams have also been introduced. Here are some of them.

Sophisticated attacks– Hackers are using more sophisticated attacks to breach systems. These are usually more selective and targeted. One way they work is by installing malware in software updates. When the unsuspecting user updates the software, his system gets infected.

Digital extortion– Cybercriminals have now taken to blackmailing internet users. Ransomware attacks increased by 113% in 2014. The hackers steal photos and files from victim’s computer and demand a ransom (typically between $300-$500) for a key, which decrypts the files.

Social media attacks– Social media scams have also increased in frequency. Nigerian 419 scams may be on the wane (many people are aware of them now) but other kinds of scams have come up. Some scams are forwarded by the unsuspecting victims themselves, when they share stories or videos with friends and relatives (these link to grey sites).

These swindles spread quickly because when a story or video is shared by a trusted person, we are more likely to click on it. ‘Likejacking’ is another new phenomenon, where the hacker tricks the social media use into installing a malware into his computer by encouraging him to click on a fake ‘like’ button. If you suspect malware is installed on your computer and you need help to remove them, please contact us by filling the form here. We can assist you anywhere in Los Angeles.

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