Trend Micro 2015 Security Roundup Details Canada's Top Breaches, Vulnerabilities and Cyber Underground

OTTAWA, March 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704) released its annual security roundup report, "Setting the Stage: Landscape Shifts Dictate Future Threat Response Strategies," which dissects the most significant security incidents from 2015. The research confirms attackers are now bolder, smarter and more daring in attack vectors, cyberespionage efforts and cyber underground activity on a global basis.

"At the start of 2015, we predicted that cyber attacks would quickly escalate. Unfortunately, we were spot on and 2015 brought bigger attacks with a larger, more personal impact", said Mark Nunnikhoven, Trend Micro's Vice President, Cloud Research. "Nowhere was that more apparent than with the breach of Canada's Ashley Madison. This breach marked a new chapter where the ramifications of digital activities had a real consequences in people's day-to-day lives."

Other highlights in the Report and Nunnikoven's take on what they mean for Canadians:

In 2015, the Angler Exploit Kit surged to become the number one exploit kit on the Internet. Canadians were tied with France and Germany as the fourth largest pool of Angler Exploit Kit victims around the world.

  • Exploit kits lower the technical bar for cyber criminals. These kits make running a malware campaign as easy as "pay, plug, and play" for cyber criminals. Angler is currently very popular due to its effectiveness in delivering malware to a targeted set of victims. That Canada is among the top targets should be no surprise given the value of Canadian identities, credit cards, and other personal information to the underground

One of the most pernicious threat trends globally in 2015 was ransomware and the rise of crypto-ransomware. However, Canada was fortunate to be spared from this major online threat.

  • Ransomware is a cybercriminal's dream. It's highly automated and very lucrative. 2016 will see a rise in Canadian infections of ransomware.

As with most countries around the world, for Canada, OPENCANDY was the top adware while DRIDEX was the top malware for Canada.

  • OPENCANDY highlights the need for better user awareness around browser plugins and disingenuous software installs. DRIDEX continues to turn a profit for cybercriminals. Expect to see DRIDEX or a variant of it continue to flourish in 2016

Online Banking Malware surged at the end of 2015 in Canada and elsewhere. By the end of the year, Trend Micro detected over twice as many online banking malware infections as at the start of the year.

  • Cybercriminals continue to mature their business-like approach to malware. Building on earlier successes, criminals are no longer focusing on building out botnets or SPAM engines (though these activities continue). Banking malware (like DRIDEX) and ransomware are making significant amounts of money for the underground. They are continuing to invest and evolve these malicious technologies.

Macro malware continued to stage a return throughout 2015. In Canada, we saw nearly four times as much macro malware in the final months of 2015 as we saw at the start of the year.

  • While this one is always a little surprising, it highlights the complexities involved in software engineering. The amount of code running on laptops and phones makes it difficult to cover all of the exposures. For cybercriminals, using a simple technique (like macros) is a low cost investment and allows them to save their more complex exploits for when they are really needed.

Canada's investment in Chip and Pin technology appears to be paying off: point of sale malware 

  • Canada was an early adopter for chip and pin and it's paying off. Chip and pin make it a lot trickier for cybercriminals to sell credit card information for use in the real world. Any non chip and pin transaction in a location where chip and pin is available is immediately flagged as suspicious. This is a great example of a reasonably low cost effective security control.

For the complete report, please visit: http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/research-and-analysis/threat-reports/roundup/setting-the-stage-landscape-shifts-dictate-future-threat-response-strategies

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on 27 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by more than 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit TrendMicro.com.

SOURCE Trend Micro Canada

For further information: Media Contact Canada: Claire M. Tallarico, 416 616 9940

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