Cyber-Attackers Continue to Be Financially Motivated, Report Finds

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Cyber-Attackers Continue to Be Financially Motivated, Report Finds

The end of the year is a prime time for attackers to ramp up cyber-attacks, according to Positive Technologies' Cybersecurity Threatscape Report for the fourth quarter of 2017. According to the 24-page report, Positive Technologies recorded more unique cyber-security incidents in the fourth quarter than at any other point in 2017. While cyber-attackers have different objectives, Positive Technologies found that the vast majority (73 percent) were motivated by financial gain. In addition, the report found that malware continues to be the primary attack method for exploiting victims. Looking at the victims of cyber-attacks in the fourth quarter, Positive Technologies reported that nearly a third (32 percent) were individuals, while 15 percent were industrial companies. In this slide show, eWEEK looks at some of the highlights from the Positive Technologies Cybersecurity Threatscape Report for...

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Financial Gain Is Attackers' Top Motive

The top motive of attackers for launching cyber-attacks is financial gain, which accounted for 73 percent of attacks in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Individuals Are the Top Victim Category

Positive Technologies reported that nearly a third (32 percent) of victims attacked in the fourth quarter of 2017 were individuals.

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U.S. and Russia Are Most Heavily Attacked Countries

Cyber-attacks occur all around the world—an attack will often impact multiple countries at the same time. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the United States and Russia were the two most often attacked countries.

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Cyber-Attacks Spike in the Fourth Quarter

There were more unique cyber-attack incidents in the fourth quarter of 2017 than in any other quarter. Positive Technologies reported that the fourth-quarter increase correlates with the holiday shopping season, with a corresponding rise in online shopping during that period.

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Malware Is the Top Attack Method

Cyber-attackers have multiple methods available to exploit users. During the fourth quarter of 2017, Positive Technologies found that 41 percent of attacks made use of malware to exploit victims.

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Social Engineering Targets Individuals

According to Positive Technologies, social engineering was the attack method used in 11 percent of attacks in the fourth quarter. Social engineering attacks largely target individual end users.

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Attacks Continue to Vary by Industry

While financial gain remains the top motive across all industries, Positive Technologies found that there is variability across different industries in terms of targets and attack methods. For example, in the finance industry malware was the top attack method, while in health care the top method was compromise of credentials.

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Hackers Exploit Old Software, Trusted Websites, Menlo Security Reports

The Menlo Security 2017 State of the Web report reveals that organizations continue to use old software, leaving them open to attack.
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