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IoT malware and email hacks are on the rise again

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480 new malware variants are being reported every minute according to a new report by security firm McAfee.

In its Threats Report: December 2018, McAfee says it has observed a ‘sharp increase’ in malware that targets Internet of Things (IoT) devices. There has been a 73 per cent growth of IoT malware in Q3. Looking at the whole year, it has observed a 203 per cent spike.

Hackers have also leveraged IoT for cryptomining, which has seen a 71 per cent rise.

“Cybercriminals are eager to weaponise vulnerabilities both new and old, and the number of services now available on underground markets has dramatically increased their effectiveness,” said Christiaan Beek, lead scientist at McAfee.

“As long as ransoms are paid and relatively easy attacks, such as phishing campaigns, are successful, bad actors will continue to use these techniques. Following up-and-coming trends on the underground markets and hidden forums allow the cybersecurity community to defend against current attacks and stay a step ahead of those in our future.”

McAfee has also infiltrated hacker forums, where they tracked what types of conversations were being led there. Hackers mostly ask for email user credentials, as that allows them easier access to other services. Then, it was said that hackers shifted their focus from PoS systems to payment platforms on large e-commerce sites.

The majority of malware and other hacking solutions actually started from a conversation on one of the forums, McAfee says.

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Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.