Deceptive Downloads Often Bundle Malware, Ransomware
While criminals increasingly used deceptive downloads bundled with malware and ransomware, Microsoft says it has put up a tougher fight against cyber-crime.Cyber-criminals are increasingly using "deceptive tactics" to circumvent the protections that Microsoft has built into its software over the past couple of years, according to the latest Security Intelligence Report (volume 16) from the company's Trustworthy Computing division. Microsoft's products have grown more resistant to bugs that can grant remote hackers access to Windows systems and the data held therein, according to Tim Rains, a Trustworthy Computing director. His group's latest data "shows a 70 percent decline in the number of severe vulnerabilities (those that can enable remote code execution) that were exploited in Microsoft products between 2010 and 2013," he said in a statement. It's encouraging news for Microsoft, but this silver lining harbors a darker and potentially more dangerous cloud. "Our data shows that in the second half of 2013 (2H13) there was a noticeable increase in cybercriminal activity where attackers used deceptive practices," stated Rains. Deceptive tactics include deceptive downloads that are bundled with malware and ransomware, which as the term suggests, locks users out of their systems until they pay up.
According to the study, Reveton, the top ransomware threat, was encountered 45 percent more times during the last half of 2013 than the previous six months. "The continued increase in deceptive tactics is striking; in the last quarter of 2013, the number of computers impacted as a result of deceptive tactics more than tripled," added Rains.