IT security firm SonicWall has released new threat intelligence data from SonicWall Capture Labs, revealing 7.2 billion malware attacks were launched in the first three quarters of 2019 as well as 151.9 million ransomware attacks, marking 15% and 5% year-over-year declines, respectively. While attacks may be trending down currently, the reality is the number of attacks is still very high and more nefarious than ever, even evading traditional sandbox technology. The SonicWall Capture Threat Network has recorded an increase in targeted geographic attacks beyond the US to include the UK and Germany. SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers are also analysing new and growing attack vectors, such as side-channel attacks and evasion.
“Ransomware tactics have changed,” said SonicWall president and CEO, Bill Conner. “Historically, the goal for most malware authors was quantity of infections and now we’re seeing attackers focus on fewer higher-value targets where they can spread laterally. This shift in tactics has seen a corresponding rise in ransom demands, as attackers attempt to make more money from fewer, but higher value, targets like local municipalities and hospitals.” Similar to ransomware, the attacks are being more targeted towards c-suite executives, HR personnel and IT leaders.
SonicWall’s non-standard port data is based on a sample size of more than 275 million malware attacks recorded worldwide through September 2019.