SonicWall announced findings from its Annual Threat Report, which highlights the most notable advancements made by security professionals and cyber criminals in 2016. The report was compiled from data collected throughout 2016 by the SonicWall Global Response Intelligence Defense (GRID) Threat Network with daily feeds from more than 1 million security sensors in nearly 200 countries and territories.
According to the 2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report, 2016 could be considered a highly successful year from the perspective of both security professionals and cyber criminals. Unlike years past, SonicWall saw the volume of unique malware samples fall to 60 million compared with 64 million in 2015, a 6.25 percent decrease. Total malware attack attempts dropped for the first time in years to 7.87 billion from 8.19 billion in 2015. However, cyber criminals garnered quick payoffs from ransomware, fueled partly by the rise in ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS).
“It would be inaccurate to say the threat landscape either diminished or expanded in 2016—rather, it appears to have evolved and shifted,” said Bill Conner, president and CEO of SonicWall. “Cybersecurity is not a battle of attrition; it’s an arms race, and both sides are proving exceptionally capable and innovative.”
Internet of Things devices were compromised on a massive scale due to poorly designed security features, opening the door for distributed denial-of-service attacks. With their integration into the core components of our businesses and lives, IoT devices provided an enticing attack vector for cyber criminals in 2016.
Gaps in IoT security enabled cyber thieves to launch the largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in history in 2016, leveraging hundreds of thousands of IoT devices with weak telnet passwords to launch DDoS attacks using the Mirai botnet management framework.
The SonicWall GRID Threat Network observed vulnerabilities on all categories of IoT devices, including smart cameras, smart wearables, smart homes, smart vehicles, smart entertainment, and smart terminals.
During the height of the Mirai surge in November 2016, the SonicWall GRID Threat Network observed that the United States was by far the most targeted, with 70 percent of DDoS attacks directed towards the region, followed by Brazil (14 percent) and India (10 percent).
Access the full report here: 2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report