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Kaspersky Report: Corporate Hacking Attacks Increase 1/3 in 2016

June 01, 2017 4 min read

Kaspersky Report: Corporate Hacking Attacks Increase 1/3 in 2016


New Kaspersky Report Says Corporate Hacking Attacks Increased In 2016

In a recent report by Kaspersky Lab, there is some interesting news regarding how, and how frequently, individuals and corporate users were targeted by hackers in 2016.

When it comes to cybersecurity and the exploits used by criminals, we need to understand that they are constantly changing.  Hackers are trying the latest and greatest exploits; and are trying to stay one step ahead of the security experts trying to catch them in the process.  This means tactics will constantly evolve, so we need to be diligent about keeping up with the latest trends in order to protect ourselves.


Key Findings of the Kaspersky Lab Report


Kaspersky Lab reports that it blocked 702.026.084 attacks against 4,347,966 users around the globe.  The sheer number of attacks increased by 24.54% between 2015 and 2016, while the number of users attackeddecreased by 20.85% over that same time period.

This means that although that number of users encountering attacks decreased, the chance that users would be attacked increased.  Another way of saying this is that the sheer number of infected websites and malicious spam or email keeps growing.

Another important point to note is that those numbers also suggest that specific users are targeted more frequently than the rest, and this brings us to perhaps the biggest takeaway of this blog.


Corporate Users Are Being Targeted More Frequently Now


The share of corporate users who encountered an attack in 2016 increased by 6 percentage points.  This means cybercriminal organizations are starting to leave the average computer operator alone in favor of concentrating on and targeting corporations and their employees.

The frequency at which these corporate users are targeted with at least one exploit have increased 28.35% over the last year as well.

It makes a lot of dollars and sense, too.  Ransomware may get $100 from Aunt Trudy because she needs those pictures of her late cat, but getting the all of the credit card information from Target’s customers, for example, is a wee bit more lucrative.


What Are The Most Frequently Targeted Apps?


So now that we know corporate users and machines are being targeted more frequently, it would probably be a good idea to go over the types of applications that appear to be particularly vulnerable.  It’s not easy to cover all of your bases, but if you understand the most egregious offenders, perhaps you'd better be able to pick your battles and defend yourself.

Looking at the chart below, you can see the various browsers are targeted most frequently.  You can protect yourself from browser attacks by:

  1. Being familiar with the sites you visit and whether or not they contain safe information is paramount.
  2. Run a real-time malware protection program likeMalwarebytes that can stop these attacks in their tracks before they get an opportunity to take hold of your machine.
  3. Use a more security-minded browser like Firefox.

kaspersky report corporate hacking attacks increase

Also looking back at the chart, we can see that the next most targeted application is Windows.  For most of us, this does not come as a surprise.  Windows hasn’t exactly been known for its impenetrability.  To better defend your Windows OS:

  1. Always install the latest Windows updates.  These usually contain security patches and fixes for the latest malware, so it’s imperative to keep these up to speed.
  2. As mentioned above, run a real-time malware program.  We are not affiliated with Malwarebytes in any way, shape, form, or fashion, but it has gotten this author out of a virus-pickle more than a few times.  

The third most targeted application is the Android operating system for smartphones.  Much like Windows, Android isn’t known for its robust security features.  Protecting your phone from malicious attack is harder than with a computer because there are not great real-time monitoring programs to protect it.   What you can do:

  1. Do not click on any emails you do not recognize.
  2. Do not accept files or click on anything from texts you do not recognize.
  3. Do not download apps from unfamiliar sources.
  4. Do not even click on images unless you trust the person sending it to you.
  5. Put your smartphone in aSilent Pocket Faraday Phone Sleeve when not in use.

***It should be noted that attacks on MS Office software users went ballistic from 2015 to 2016, and increased by nearly 103%, and that Adobe Reader attacks were lessened by 74.76% over that same time.

You can see that when a company decides it is going to dedicate its time towards security and privacy, real gains can be made in a relatively short period of time.   It can be done - they just need the will to do it.



cia wikileaks vault 7 corporate hacking attacks increase kaspersky report 

Exploits in applications and operating systems affect hundreds of millions of users worldwide with no signs of slowing down.  In fact, all signs point towards this problem becoming much worse in the near future.

Now that theCIA’s malicious hacking tools have been leaked via Wikileaks in a dump entitled “Vault 7”, you can expect many massive attacks to be launched.  Because they’re just source code, hackers can take said code and alter it in an unlimited variety of ways.

All of us going forward need to be very careful with our computers, smartphones, and the applications they use.


Josh Bare
Josh Bare

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