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Quarter of cyberattacks hit ordinary users

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/alexskopje)

New research from Positive Technologies has revealed that cyber attacks increased by 47 per cent during Q2 2018 when compared to the same period last year as cyber criminals have started to target ordinary users in addition to businesses and governments.

The firm's new report, The Cyber Threatscape Q2 2018 (opens in new tab), found that data theft is the objective of an increasing number of online attacks as hackers move away from mass campaigns.

Personal data (30%) and credentials (22%) were the most attractive targets for hackers who compromised a wide range of websites, including web stores, ticket vendors and hotel booking services to steal user data.

In May and June of 2018, a surge of attacks was launched against cryptocurrency that led to cyberattackers stealing more than $100m. The number of these attacks during the second quarter was more than twice as high than those that occurred during Q1 2018.

While malware attacks became relatively less common (49% in Q2 compared to 63% in Q1), they were still able to retain the top position for attack method. However, other attack methods such as the exploitation of web vulnerabilities and credential compromise gained popularity among cybercriminals.

Cyber Security Resilience Lead at Positive Technologies, Leigh-Anne Galloway provided further insight on the current state of cyberattacks, saying:

"Cyberattacks in Q2 victimized 765 million ordinary users to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Today, you can never be sure that criminals don't have your credit card number from one source or another. Even when you buy a brand-new smartphone in a store, you can still end up getting pre-installed malware. The upward trend in data theft will likely endure. Many companies fail to properly secure information, making it easy for even low-skilled hackers to steal customer data. Once stolen, this data is often sold on the darknet, as detailed in our report on the criminal cyberservices market."

Image Credit: Alexskopje / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.