Trojan horse-based malware attacks and spyware rose sharply in 2018 as ransomware-based attacks declined, according to a new report published by Malwarebytes.
One of the larger threats outlined in the report was the Emotet Trojan, a sophisticated malware program capable of data theft, network monitoring, and propagating itself onto other vulnerable systems, and the Trickbot Trojan that steals passwords and browser histories from infected machines.
“[F]ormer banking Trojans—especially Emotet and TrickBot—evolved into droppers with multiple modules for spam production, lateral propagation through networks, data skimmers, and even crypto-wallet stealers,” the report stated. “These variants of malware focused their energies on ensnaring businesses, gleaning the most profit from ultra-sensitive data that could be sold on the black market for re-targeting in future campaigns.”
Ransomware attacks remain a persistent threat, but are not as prevalent as they were at their peak in 2017, which coincided with the meteoric rise in cyptocurrency values. Kaspersky and McAfee Labs both reported a 30% decline in ransomware attacks in 2018. “[T]he only real spike in numbers has been in the realm of the workplace, with a distinct lack of interest and innovation aimed at consumers,” according to the Malwarebytes report, which also noted an overall decline in ransomware attacks of 26%.