The SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report focuses on six areas where researchers noted particular developments during 2019. Report takeaways include:
- Ransomware attackers continue to raise the stakes with automated active attacks that turn organisations’ trusted management tools against them, evade security controls and disable back-ups in order to cause maximum impact in the shortest possible time.
- Unwanted apps are edging closer to malware. In a year that brought the subscription-abusing Android Fleeceware apps, and ever more stealthy and aggressive adware, the Threat Report highlights how these and other potentially unwanted apps (PUA), like browser plug-ins, are becoming brokers for delivering and executing malware and fileless attacks.
- The greatest vulnerability for cloud computing is misconfiguration by operators. As cloud systems become more complex and more flexible, operator error is a growing risk. Combined with a general lack of visibility, this makes cloud computing environments a ready made target for cyberattackers.
- Machine learning designed to defeat malware finds itself under attack. 2019 was the year when the potential of attacks against machine learning security systems were highlighted. Research showed how machine learning detection models could possibly be tricked, and how machine learning could be applied to offensive activity to generate highly convincing fake content for social engineering. At the same time, defenders are applying machine learning to language as a way to detect malicious emails and URLs. This advanced game of cat and mouse is expected to become more prevalent in the future.
For additional and detailed information on threat landscape trends and changing cybercriminal behaviours, please reference the entire SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report here.
Credit: Google News