Trend Micro: Cyber-attacks could lead to fatalities

Hackers are no longer after our wearable and home-based IoT devices (Internet of Things), but they are after businesses, as well. What's especially worrying is that these attacks could result in injuries, possibly fatalities.

Those are some of the conclusions of the latest Trend Micro Annual Security Roundup report, which looks at the latest threat landscape, what the biggest threats to security are and how to tackle them.

Among the key highlights are autonomous cars, and the fact that researchers have been able to 'take over' those vehicles, simulating a cyber attack. And when a car is taken over in the middle of the highway, that could lead to injuries, maybe even fatalities.

IoT units aside, the report also says that ransomware is also on the rise. In the fourth quarter of 2015, 83 per cent of all data extortion attacks were done through the use of crypto-ransomware, with more and more businesses deciding to pay up.

According to the report, the most popular ransomware was Cryptowall, with a market share of 31 per cent.

Looking at who gets hit the hardest, Trend Micro says it's the healthcare industry that has taken the biggest hit. Last year, almost 30 per cent of all data breaches happened in the healthcare sector.

Combining all attacks against the healthcare industry last year, more than 90 million patient records were exposed, including social security numbers, clinical data, even financial details.

"Perpetrators who compromise sensitive data are a diverse group that includes insiders, individual criminals, as well as organized and state-sponsored groups. Stolen data is commonly used to commit crimes such as financial fraud, identity and intellectual property theft, espionage, revenge, blackmail, and extortion,“ said senior threat researcher at Trend Micro, Numaan Huq.

The full Trend Micro report, which goes in-depth on the biggest malware, deep web and smart technology 'nightmares', can be found on this link.