Asia accounted for highest number of ransomware attacks (42.98%) and 23.88% of these attacks were reported from India. Photo: iStock
Asia accounted for highest number of ransomware attacks (42.98%) and 23.88% of these attacks were reported from India. Photo: iStock

Fileless attacks increased by 265%, attack on routers up by 64%: Report

  • Fileless attacks are hard to detect by anti-virus solutions as they do not install malicious software to infiltrate a victim’s computer
  • Routers continue to be the weak link as the number of routers involved in possible attacks increased by 64% in the last one year

Cybercriminals are betting big time on fileless attacks due to their elusive nature. In fact, the use of fileless attacks went up by 265% in the first half of 2019, over the last year, according to Trend Micro’s mid-year cybersecurity report.

Among other reports that corroborate the resurgence of fileless attacks, Ponemon Institute’s findings suggest that 35% of all cyberattacks in 2018 were fileless, while Carbon Black claims that fileless attacks accounted for 50% of all successful data breaches in 2018.

According to Trend Micro, these files aren’t visible to traditional security tools, as they can be executed in a system’s memory, reside in the registry, or abuse legitimate tools.

Also known as zero footprint attacks, fileless events are hard to detect by anti-virus solutions as they do not install malicious software to infiltrate a victim’s computer. Instead, they try to infiltrate into apps like Web browser or Word document that are already approved as safe using malicious links.

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“From attackers, we saw intentional, targeted, and crafty attacks that stealthily take advantage of people, processes and technology. On the business side, digital transformation and cloud migrations are expanding and evolving the corporate attack surface," Nilesh Jain, Vice President, Southeast Asia and India, Trend Micro said in a press statement.

In addition to fileless attacks, there has been a surge in Exploit kits (automated threats that use compromised webpages to divert web traffic and then uses codes to scan for vulnerable browser based applications) too. According to Trend Micro’s report, in the last one year alone, the number of exploit kits went up by 136%.

Cryptojacking (unauthorised use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency) continues to be a menace, but detection was a lot easier as they targeted servers and cloud platforms. Routers continue to be the weak link as the number of routers involved in possible attacks increased by 64% in the last one year.

The report further claims that detection of compromises through business emails jumped by 52% in the last 6 months, while files with files, emails and URLs for ransomware attacks went up by 77% during the same time. Asia accounted for highest number of ransomware attacks (42.98%) and 23.88% of these attacks were reported from India.

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