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  • 29 January 2018 14:07

Malwarebytes Global State of Malware Report Reveals 1000 per cent Increase in Ransomware Detections in Asia Pacific

• Ransomware made global headlines, however Australia saw a downward trend in Q4 • Malware detections doubled during 2017 in ANZ compared to 2016 • Australia and New Zealand saw a 15% increase in adware detections from 2016

Sydney, Australia: Consumer threats are rising, and malware is getting more severe Malwarebytes, the leading advanced malware prevention and remediation solution, today released a security research report analysing the top malware threats of 2017. The Malwarebytes Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques: 2017 State of Malware Report shows sharp increases in malware-based cybercrime, including ransomware, banking Trojans, spyware, adware, and cryptocurrency miners.

The study reveals a 90% increase in ransomware attacks for businesses and consumers, becoming the fifth-most detected threat. In Asia Pacific, ransomware (1000% increase), hijacker (522% increase), spyware (200% increase), and worms (50% increase) all increased from 2016.

Key findings for Asia Pacific include: Ransomware made global headlines, however Australia saw a downward trend in Q4 Global ransomware attacks from WannaCry, Globelmposter, Locky, and Cerber played major roles in the surge in ransomware attacks in 2017. While there were occasional spikes in detections, specifically for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore had significantly less ransomware detections than the year before.

Malware had a substantial effect on businesses In the fourth quarter of 2017, malware detections doubled from 2016 for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Hijacker detections remained in line with 2016 until August 2017 when detection numbers soared for Asia Pacific with a 566% increase. While 2017 began the year with less spyware, the last 2 quarters of the year ended with 3 times the number of detections in Asia Pacific.

Adware jumped to the number one spot in malware detections for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore Australia/New Zealand saw a 15% increase in adware detections from 2016.

Singapore had over a 450% increase in adware detections in 2017, compared to 2016. Key findings from the 2017 global report include: Ransomware was tool of choice for cybercriminals in 2017 Ransomware against consumers increased 93% while ransomware against businesses is up 90%. The monthly rate of ransomware attacks increased up to 10 times the rate of 2016, with September 2017 having the largest volume of ransomware attacks against businesses ever documented.

What cybercriminals can’t hold for ransom, they will steal Hijackers, adware and riskware tools top 3 detections against businesses (in order) The second half of the year marked an average of 102% increase in banking Trojan detections. Hijackers rose nearly 40% year over year, moving this threat to the most common threat detected against businesses in 2017.

Increase in the malicious use of crypto-miners Alongside a sudden cryptocurrency craze, bad actors have started utilising cryptomining tools for their own profit, using victim’s personal computers in the process. This includes a significant increase of miners through compromised websites, malicious spam, exploit kit drops and adware bundlers. Malwarebytes blocked an average of 8 million drive-by mining attempts per day in September 2017.

Jeff Hurmuses, Area Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Malwarebytes said, “It’s clear that cybercriminals are becoming more strategic as they pick the most effective form of attack. While Asia Pacific hasn’t been a major target in the past, the data we are seeing leads us to believe that ransomware, worms, and spyware attacks will become a major threat in the region. It’s crucial that companies, particularly in the healthcare and education sectors, stay ahead of these threats, familiarise themselves with cybercriminals’ methodologies and tactics, and replace their outdated security systems before they become a victim of an attack.”

The report finds significant increases in the volume of threats against both businesses and consumers and details the most interesting and impactful methods of malware creation and distribution in all of 2017. Read the full Cybercrime Tactics & Techniques: 2017 State of Malware Report here.


Notes to Editor

About the report To better understand how cybercriminals are evolving their threats and tactics, Malwarebytes researchers analysed security threat telemetry from January 2016 to November 2017. Data was also obtained from Malwarebytes’ internal honeypots and collection efforts to identify not only infection, but also malware distribution.

About Malwarebytes Malwarebytes proactively protects people and businesses against dangerous threats such as malware, ransomware and exploits that escape detection by traditional antivirus solutions. Malwarebytes completely replaces antivirus solutions to remove the personal obstacles and business interruptions caused by modern cybersecurity threats. More than 10,000 businesses and millions of people trust Malwarebytes innovative machine-learning solutions and global team of researchers to identify emerging threats and to prevent and eradicate malware that antiquated security solutions miss and leave behind. For more information, please visit us at

Malwarebytes founder and CEO Marcin Kleczynski started the company to create the best disinfection and protection solutions to combat the world’s most harmful Internet threats. Marcin was recently named “CEO of the Year” in the Global Excellence awards and has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Rising Stars of Enterprise Technology list and the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award, adding those to an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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