Malware attacks on banking, social sites likely to rise

Irfan Rashid

New Delhi

Banking malware could become a big concern for security experts and users of mobile internet banking. With almost all banks developing dedicated apps for banking, hackers could lev­erage this to trick users and generate illegitimate cash to fuel their intentions, said Quick Heal Technologies in a report here on Thursday.

According to the Quick Heal’s second quarter threat report, detection of trojans, worms, infectors and exploits has been on the rise. The combined figure of adware and potentially unwanted programmes (PUA) category detection is 28 per cent on an average, it added.

Sharing details, Sanjay Katkar, MD & CTO, Quick Heal Technologies, said; “We consider creating awar­eness around IT and cyber security as our prime responsibility and therefore, we have been releasing threat reports periodically.”

He said malware attacks on social networking sites are likely to increase in the near future. By 2018, there could be about 2.55 billion users of the social network. Given the sheer volume of user interaction, such sites become easy targets for online scammers and cyber criminals, he added.

While adware remains one of the major malware, dominance of the ransom­ware family showed no res­p­ite even in this quarter. Locky ransomware continued to maintain its dominance by encrypting files on the infected system and adding the “.locky” extension to them. Due to a lack of decryption possibility, .locky is considered one of the most dangerous ransomware.

Katkar said: “At Quick Heal, our teams constantly monitor the threat landscape and develop solutions to counter these threats. Our threat reports are an attempt towards building safe and secure IT environments and online experiences. We are constantly innovating to equip our consumers and enterprises to monitor and prevent these threats and safeguard their critical data.”

PUA and adware are suspected to be laced with destructive functionalities including damaging or crashing boot sector records of infected computers. Additionally, adware is most likely to be used for delivering ransomware into the targeted systems.

As per the report, “Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is another trend which is taking momentum. In RaaS, malware authors sell ransomware along with a customisable kit through the online black market. Interested people can register and download them for free or a nominal fee. Once the ransomware file is customised as per the requirement, it is then spread through the desired infection vectors.”


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