Bitdefender has published its Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 covering the first six months of the year, which examines malware growth and new trends.
The most significant figure that emerges from this report is the seven-fold increase in ransomware reports compared to the same period last year.
The assumption is that hackers have intensified their attack campaigns by exploiting the pandemic on the one hand, and the spread of smart working on the other.
The number of reports related to coin miners also increased, but only by 20.32%, while reports related to exploits increased by 405.79%.
During the first three months of the year, hackers focused in particular on ransomware and other traditional threats, while from April, campaigns related to banking Trojans started to grow, with an increase of seven times compared to the first six months of 2019.
A peculiar feature of this first half of 2020 is that virtually all cybercriminals exploited the global emergency caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, generating a peak of scams, phishing and malware involving all platforms.
Even, according to Bitdefender telemetry, in May and June 60% of all emails sent and received were fraudulent.
In other words, cybercriminals seized the opportunity to exploit the problems caused by the coronavirus emergency, focusing more on planning new campaigns aimed at specific regions and countries, rather than creating new, more sophisticated malware.
Bitdefender Threat Report, how hackers act
In particular, in March, coinciding with the outbreak of the pandemic, hackers began to direct their campaigns to the regions most affected by the health emergency, adapting their strategies and messages to the countries most affected by the spread of the virus.
The report does not, however, provide information about the effectiveness of these attacks, or the profits generated by them, because it merely measures the number of reports made month by month, country by country.
However, the increase in the number of reports corresponds to an increase in the number of attacks, and it can be assumed that this also implies a general increase in profits generated by ransomware attacks in particular.