Cryptocurrency mining jumped by 237% in 2018 compared with 2017, according to a study by security firm Trend Micro Inc.
In addition, phishing URL detection rose by 269% over the prior year.
These increases “reflect a change in cybercriminal’s mindset,” states Jon Clay, director of global threat communications for Trend Micro. “Today’s most prevalent attacks are targeted and well planned, as opposed to one-size-fits-all attacks of the past.”
Meanwhile, there was a 28% hike in the number of Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks last year, each one pulling an average yield of $132,000. That financial impact belies the relatively small percentage increase.
BEC cyberattacks contain no malware and are often undetected. They capitalize on the impulse to respond to urgent requests from authority.
Trend Micro contends that the best way to fight BEC attacks is by analyzing the writing style of key executives who may be spoofed.
At the same time, ransomware detections fell by 91%, and there was a 32% drop in ransomware families.
This also shows that cyber criminals are moving away from relatively easy tactics like ransomware to more sophisticated forms of attack, Trend Micro says.
Meanwhile, zero-day vulnerabilities increased, with a 224% leap in Industrial Control System bugs.