Short answer to what the title reads is in the graph below:
The Internet with its ever-present malware threats, especially ransomware remains a dangerous place. A recent report by AV Test shows they have detected 900 millionth malware. This proves that the malware industry continues to have Redmond’s operating system (i.e. Windows, for those who don’t know) in its crosshair.
What is AV-Test
AV-TEST GmbH is an independent research organization based out of Germany. The research institute based on different criteria regularly evaluates and rates antivirus and security suite software for Microsoft Windows and Android operating systems. And then publishes their testing results to help users select the right product. What’s more, the institute advises industries, companies, governments on issues of IT security and uses in house analysis systems guaranteeing unbiased and comprehensible results.
What Did AV-Test discover?
“New businesses will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds as attackers target $6 Trillion this 2020”
In the latest report, AV-Test shows a rising rate of malware attacks. Compared to the previous year this time the number of new malware has increased to 4.4 per second samples per day. Looking at this malware development rate, it seems the trend will continue to grow and Windows will be on the target.
Windows users beware: AV-TEST is currently seeing a sharp increase in ransomware. You will be more secure on the Internet thanks to daily updated security notifications:
Windows users beware: AV-TEST is currently seeing a sharp increase in ransomware. You will be more secure on the Internet thanks to daily updated security notifications: https://t.co/lWWu8LhtOT #SaferInternetDay #SID2020 #Ransomware #Malware #Windows pic.twitter.com/xk2EM8Q8XG
— AV-TEST GmbH (@avtestorg) February 11, 2020
Why a sudden increase in the number of new malware?
With the continuous increase in defense performance from protection programs, cyber criminals felt the need to crank new malware codes at a higher rate. And for this, they deployed their favorite choice i.e. Trojans.
This should not come as a surprise, as Trojans, both in terms of functionality and distribution opportunities cannot be surpassed by another class of malware.
Last year, these universal tools were added to nearly 2/3 of all malware programs developed for Windows (62.51%).
Does this mean macOS is secure?
No, the rate of malware developments almost tripled for Apple’s macOS also. In terms of percentage, the share of Mac malware increased to approximately 4%.
An average of 7,913 new malware samples per month for Apple’s operating system has been discovered by AV-TEST Institute.
This new breed of malware not only targets Windows and macOS. IoT devices to are at risk.
How unsafe are IoT devices
Basically, IoT devices and services to a large degree are unsafe. Here instead of the device users are the main target. Since apps to connect IoT devices usually run on mobile phones attackers use transmission paths and other recorded data for digital attacks.
With inadequate IT security IoT devices are at great risk and as their number increases a flood of malware is already waiting.
Mirai, a malware sample known for years, accounted for more than 40 percent of the total malicious code for IoT devices. Unfortunately, no steps have been taken to secure IoT devices and criminals continue to deploy Mirai successfully.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware doesn’t only target large companies; anyone, including you, can be its victim. It is a form of malware designed to encrypt files. Once the attack is successful, the attacker demands a ransom to restore access to the data.
The most common vector used to take access to a computer is phishing emails. Once these emails are opened they take over victim computers, for this, they even design social engineering tools that trick users into allowing administrative access.
Anything of value that is smart and connected can be compromised and held for ransom,” said Steve Grobman, the chief technology officer at McAfee.
How does AV-Test work
The experts at AV–TEST examine real-time detection done by security apps for the latest malware. Moreover, they measure the detection effectiveness to give a clear view of protection capabilities and what best can be done.
Windows remain under fire
Due to the security vulnerabilities, Windows system remains in the crosshair of the malware industry. When a cybercriminal plans a large-scale malware attack it is advised to plant malware in the Redmonds vulnerable OS. This consistently makes the operating system from Redmond the most heavily attacked software platform.
All this data and findings make clear Windows is the weakest link and with time things are going to get worse. Therefore, we need to take steps to stay secure from ransomware attacks.
How to Prevent Ransomware
There are a number of defensive steps you can take to stay protected from ransomware. These steps are good security practices, following them will only improve your defense.
- Avoid opening suspicious emails or downloading attachments.
- Keep your operating system patched with the latest updates.
- Don’t install software from unknown sources or give it administrative privileges unless you know about it
- Install good antivirus software or can use a cloud backup tool like Right Backup to keep your important data safe.
- Never use unfamiliar USBs; you can even use USB Blocker program to stay protected.
- Are you using public Wi-Fi? Yes, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect yourself. The best VPN provides you with an encrypted communications tunnel and protects you from attack.
Stopping such attacks is difficult, but not impossible. By taking these precautionary measures you can stay one step ahead of criminals. IT literacy – such as knowing what to do and not is important it helps prevent the spread.