Ransomware, Financial Pretexting Attacks Spike in 2017

Today’s topics include a new report by Verizon that ransomware attacks doubled last year and Microsoft speeds up Android app development in Visual Studio 2017.

Ransomware attacks grew significantly in 2017, doubling in volume from the year earlier, according to Verizon's 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, which was released earlier this week. Verizon's 2018 DBIR reveals insights on the state of data breaches, derived from analysis of over 53,000 security incidents and 2,216 breaches.

“This year we saw a second year of surging ransomware that was incredible, but not altogether unexpected," Gabe Bassett, senior information security data scientist at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, told eWEEK. "Ransomware doubled in 2016, and it doubled again in 2017."

The doubling of ransomware attacks from the volume reported in last year's DBIR wasn't the only high-level finding in this year’s report. Verizon also noted a spike in financial pretexting attacks, where hackers aim to gain personal information about individuals' tax returns. In terms of where breaches are coming from, Verizon reported that 72 percent of attacks were perpetrated by outsiders.

When Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7 for Windows arrives, Android developers will have less of a wait to see the results of their code changes. In the third beta release of Visual Studio 2017 15.7, which is now available for download, Microsoft has cut the time it takes to start the debugging process.

Now, while an Android app is being compiled, the IDE will start the Xamarin runtime in unison, a time-saving tactic that can help developers reclaim precious seconds. Microsoft acquired Xamarin, a mobile development toolmaker, in early 2016 and added the company's technology to Visual Studio.

Meanwhile, for developers who prefer to code on a MacBook, Microsoft has released the second beta of Visual Studio for Mac 7.5.