Sophos revealed its SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast, a report that recaps ransomware and other cybersecurity trends based on data collected from their customer computers worldwide during April 1 to Oct. 3, 2017. One key finding shows that while ransomware predominately attacked Windows systems in the last six months, Android, Linux and MacOS platforms were not immune.
“Ransomware has become platform-agnostic. Ransomware mostly targets Windows computers, but this year, SophosLabs saw an increased amount of crypto-attacks on different devices and operating systems used by our customers worldwide,” said Dorka Palotay, SophosLabs Security Researcher and Contributor to the ransomware analysis in the SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast.
The report also tracks ransomware growth patterns, indicating that WannaCry, unleashed in May 2017, was the number one ransomware intercepted from customer computers, dethroning longtime ransomware leader Cerber, which first appeared in early 2016. WannaCry accounted for 45.3% of all ransomware tracked through SophosLabs with Cerber accounting for 44.2%.
The SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast reports on the acute rise and fall of NotPetya, ransomware that wreaked havoc in June 2017. “NotPetya spiked fast and furiously, and did hurt businesses because it permanently destroyed data on the computers it hit. Luckily, NotPetya stopped almost as fast as it started,” said Palotay. According to SophosLabs analysis, the number of attacks on Sophos customers using Android devices increased almost every month in 2017.
“In September alone, 30.4 percent of malicious Android malware processed by SophosLabs was ransomware. We’re expecting this to jump to approximately 45 percent in October,” said Rowland Yu, a SophosLabs Security Researcher and Contributor to the SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast.
“Sophos recommends backing up phones on a regular schedule, similar to a computer, to preserve data and avoid paying ransom just to regain access. We expect ransomware for Android to continue to increase and dominate as the leading type of malware on this mobile platform in the coming year,” said Yu.