Ransomware Is Now Most Popular Malware
Ransomware has become the most popular form of malware, according to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report.
In their 2018 report, Verizon analyzed over 53,000 security incidents and 2,216 data breaches. They discovered ransomware was found in 39% of the incidents.
Ransomware is a type of malware that cybercriminals install on victims’ computers. Once installed, the criminals can lock the victim’s machine and demand money to give control back to the user. Not only is ransomware becoming more common, the report found criminals are demanding more money from their victims.
According to Verizon, ransomware is increasing in popularity because it is relatively easy to use, and there is little cost involved. Criminals are also getting better at targeting businesses and the systems those companies need to use regularly.
The report also found cybercriminals are getting better at targeting cyberattacks in general. For example, criminals were able to target a human resources department recently and steal W2 information, according to ZDNet.
Consumers can protect against malware by doing a number of things. Always be on guard against phishing attempts. Phishing is when cybercriminals send an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate company with whom you do business. The email will provide a link or ask you to download software. If you do either of these things, the malware will be installed on your machine, and the stakes are even higher if you open the link at work, as the criminals can then infect the software for the entire business.
Always make sure to check the email address since phishing emails generally contain misspellings or other red flags. If in doubt, check with the IT professional at your company.
Finally, legitimate companies rarely ask a consumer to download software, so if an entity is sending software to download, it is likely malware.