UK is now the most targeted nation for cyber attacks, says Malwarebytes

Ransomware across the globe rose by 700% in 2017 fuelled by WannaCry

Red skull and crossbones atop binary code

The UK is now the most targeted region in the world for cyber threats following a 134% rise in hijacking attempts against British machines and soaring ransomware attacks.

That's according to Malwarebytes' annual State of Malware report, that revealed UK bound ransomware has increased by 165%, having accelerated at at a pace almost double that of the US.

These attacks peaked in May during the height of the WannaCry ransomware campaign, which also helped contribute to a 700% global rise in ransomware threats between July and September 2017, according to Malwarebytes' telemetry, a 10 times increase on the monthly rate of ransomware attacks in 2016.

Ransomware across the globe saw a 90% hike against businesses and a 93% increase against consumers over the course of 2017.

However, towards the end of the year, Malwarebytes detects a decrease in global ransomware, indicating that cyber criminals could be moving away from using the attack technique.

The study illustrates not only an overall surge in ransomware attacks across the globe, but also a significant shift in attack methodology of hackers, an evolution in the predominant tools used and generally a sharp increases in malware-based cyber crime, including banking trojans, spyware, adware and cryptocurrency mining.

One such area to pay attention to is the increase in spyware, which rocketed up by 882% in the UK according to supplementary data from Malwarebytes.

Another is how the sudden increase in interest around cryptocurrencies has lead to malicious actors making use of cryptomining tools to exploit malware infected machines in order to generate digital currencies surreptitiously.

"The last year has certainly thrown us a few curveballs, with massive ransomware attacks, changes in malware distribution and the significant increase in cryptocurrency miners," said Marcin Kleczynski, Malwarebytes CEO.

"With 2018 just getting started, these findings can help pave the way for increased awareness, C-level participation, and enhanced technologies to better protect both consumers and businesses."

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Network & Internet

HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

15 Oct 2021