Ransomware on Target for 150% Increase This Year — THE Journal

Data Security

Ransomware on Target for 150% Increase This Year

More bad news on the data security front. Ransomware and fileless
malware are both seeing large surges this year.

According to the newly released Q2
2021 Internet Security Report from WatchGuard Technologies, in
the first six months of 2021, ransomware attacks were already at
nearly the total volume for all of the previous year and are on
target to see a 150% increase by the end of the year. According to
WatchGuard: “While total ransomware detections on the endpoint
were on a downward trajectory from 2018 through 2020, that trend
broke in the first half of 2021, as the six-month total finished just
shy of the full-year total for 2020. If daily ransomware detections
remain flat through the rest of 2021, this year’s volume will reach
an increase of over 150% compared to 2020.”

Fileless malware — malware originating from scripting engines,
such as PowerShell — is increasing at an even greater pace and is
on track to double 2020’s total this year. AMSI.Disable.A is one such
malware type that’s on the rise. According to WatchGuard:
“AMSI.Disable.A showed up in WatchGuard’s top malware section
for the first time in Q1 and immediately shot up for this quarter,
hitting the list at #2 overall by volume and snagging the #1 spot for
overall encrypted threats. This malware family uses PowerShell tools
to exploit various vulnerabilities in Windows. But what makes it
especially interesting is its evasive technique. WatchGuard found
that AMSI.Disable.A wields code capable of disabling the Antimalware
Scan Interface (AMSI) in PowerShell, allowing it to bypass script
security checks with its malware payload undetected.”

Other findings from the report included:

  • A massive 91.5% of all malware arrived over encrypted
    connection. “Put simply, any organization that is not examining
    encrypted HTTPS traffic at the perimeter is missing 9/10 of all
    malware,” according to WatchGuard.

  • Network attacks rose 22% in the quarter, reaching the highest
    level sine…