Global cyber threats jump 47% y-o-y in 1H21, says Trend Micro

Trend Micro Malaysia and nascent countries managing director Goh Chee Hoh

Trend Micro Malaysia and nascent countries managing director Goh Chee Hoh

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 30): Ransomware remained the standout threat globally in the first half of the year as cyber criminals continued to target big-name victims, according to cybersecurity provider Trend Micro.

It said working with third parties to gain access to targeted networks, culprits used advanced persistent threat tools and techniques to steal and encrypt victims’ data.

In a statement on Thursday, the firm said it blocked 40.9 billion email threats, malicious files, and malicious URLs for customers in the first half of 2021 (1H21), a 47% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, Trend Micro found that a total of 232.7 million attacks were blocked 1H21.

It said over half consisted of email threats at 145.9 million, which registered an increase of 24% from 1H20.

The number of detected malware increased by 160% from 1H20 to 6.6 million, it said.

Trend Micro said the banking industry, in particular, was disproportionately affected, experiencing a 1,318% y-o-y increase in ransomware attacks in 1H21.

It added that business email compromise (BEC) attacks increased by 4%, potentially as a result of new Covid-19 opportunities for threat actors.

Cryptocurrency miners became the most detected malware, having surged ahead of WannaCry and web shells in recent months.

The Zero Day Initiative detected 770 vulnerabilities, a slight (2%) drop from 1H20.

A total of 164 malicious apps related to Covid-19 scams were detected, 54% of which impersonated TikTok.    

Trend Micro Malaysia and nascent countries managing director Goh Chee Hoh said the first step towards effectively mitigating cyber risk is understanding the scale, complexity, and specific characteristics of the threat landscape.

“In addition to comprehensive protection against fast-evolving threats like ransomware, phishing, and BEC that Trend Micro offers, our biannual roundup reports provide global organizations and stakeholders invaluable insights to help them build a more secure connected world,” he said.