U.S. businesses and consumers have reported experiencing more than $18 million in losses stemming from CryptoWall ransomware, the FBI warns. Security experts say ransomware's ease of use and low risk fuels the increasing numbers of attacks.
Symantec has issued new warnings about a malware strain known as Poweliks, noting that this Trojan is being used in conjunction with ransomware. But security experts disagree over the severity of the threat.
Britain's computer emergency response team - CERT-UK - reports that malware remains the dominant mode of online attack for cybercriminals, and Zeus their most preferred tool of choice. But the team is promoting a free information-alert service to help.
The FBI is offering a big-stakes reward for an alleged criminal who ranks at the top of its "cyber most wanted" list. But one cybercrime expert asks: "Would you cross the Russian mafia or some organized crime gang for $3 million?"
Much of today's crime is "cyber-enabled," warns cybercrime expert Raj Samani, and successfully blocking such attacks increasingly demands not just better technology and public-private collaboration, but also an understanding of psychology.
Community banking institutions are at great risk of cyber-attack because they often don't think they're targeted, says Scott McGillivray of Pacific Continental Bank, who describes how to convey this risk to senior management.
More hackers are holding data for ransom, demanding everything from bitcoins to the shutdown of nuclear reactors, under the threat of leaking sensitive information. But it's not clear how many such attacks generate revenue for attackers.
Ransomware attacks are getting more agile, varied and widespread, and are increasingly taking aim at businesses of all sizes in all sectors, rather than consumers. That's why employee education is so critical.
As a result of the explosive growth in worldwide use of smart phones, mobile malware will play a much bigger role in fraud this year, predicts Daniel Cohen, a threat researcher for RSA, which just released its 2014 Cybercrime Roundup report.