Ransomware attacks grew by 118% by in the first quarter of 2019 as hackers target larger firms

From a spike in ransomware attacks to a host of new cryptojacking campaigns, the cybersecurity landscape became even more perilous in the first quarter of this year.

That’s according to a new report from McAfee Labs, the cybersecurity company. The researchers found that ransomware attacks grew by 118% during that period. While cybercriminals still utilize spear-phishing tactics, McAfee Labs also noted that more ransomware attacks get access to companies via exposed remote access points such as RDP and virtual network computing.

The three most commonly used ransomware families during the period were the CrySis variant Dharma, GandCrab and Ryuk. GandCrab is a malicious software using AES encryption to get infect a system. Ryuk is the name of the malware that affected several of the big US newspapers in the beginning of the year.

McAfee Labs, also discovered a trend where big businesses are exceedingly finding themselves in hackers’ crosshairs. The researchers noted a rise in hack attacks against larger organizations in the first three months of 2019.

The report also noted that cryptojacking attacks increased by 29% during the period. These are attacks that turns the victim’s computer into a cryptocurrency miner. One of the regular cryptocurrencies mined in these attacks was Monero.

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