Cyber Security News & Trends

Each week, SonicWall collects the cyber security industry’s most compelling, trending and important interviews, media and news stories — just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

FBI Calls Attention to ‘BEC’ Scams  CRN

  • In an article detailing the rise of BEC scams by the FBI, SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner is quoted for his insight on the issue noting that technology such as DPI SSL can help as a preventative to potential breaches.

A Bitcoin Podcaster Brilliantly Trolled His Own Hacker  The Verge

  • A podcaster’s web domain was hacked and held for ransom via remote hackers. Ransomware data from SonicWall’s 2018 Cyber Threat Report was cited.

Bringing Visibility to the Midmarket  Data Breach Today

  • In a video interview with ISMG’s Data Breach Today, SonicWall’s Bill Conner shares his vision to ensure smaller and mid-sized businesses have a clear view of the threat landscape taking aim at their companies. In the video he expands on the SME visibility challenge, SonicWall’s solutions to improve alerts and analytics and how SonicWall is addressing customer cloud security concerns.

Jonesboro Council Tackles Cybersafety  The Clayton News Daily

  • Due to the recent Atlanta data breach, other cities are taking the initiative to bolster their preventative cybersecurity measures such as Georgia’s Jonesboro City Council who recommend SonicWall’s TZ300 Firewall solution to protect the city’s financial data.

Cyber Security News

North Korea’s Antivirus Software Whitelisted Mystery Malware The Register

  • North Korea’s very own antivirus software has been revealed to be based on a 10-year-old application made by Trend Micro, but with added nasties.

Commonwealth Bank Lost Data on Nearly 20M Customers  ZDNet

  • The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is unsure of where data on millions of customers has gone, after it was revealed that magnetic tapes comprising information used to print account statements may not have been properly disposed of.

Breaches Drive Consumer Stress Over Cybersecurity  Dark Reading

  • As major data breaches make headlines, consumers are increasingly worried about cyberattacks, password management, and data security.

This Password-Stealing Malware Uses Facebook Messenger to Spread Further  ZDNet

  • A form of malware which uses fake Facebook Messenger messages to spread has suddenly surged back into life and has developed new tricks to steal passwords, steal cryptocurrency and engage in cryptojacking.

House Appropriations Panel Should Step Up Cyber Oversight, Member Urges  Nextgov

  • Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., sent out a report Monday outlining key areas the panel should focus on, including the threat of adversary nations stealing U.S. government hacking tools, cyber threats against industrial control systems that manage chemical and gas plants and ways to surge information sharing about cyber threats within industry sectors.

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IoT & Mobile Threats: What Does 2017 Tell Us About 2018?

“SPARTANS! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty. For tonight, WE DINE IN HELL!!”

Remember this passionate line by King Leonidas from the movie “300”? We are at the brink of another war — the modern cyber arms race. You need to gear up and be prepared for the thousands of malicious “arrows” that shoot down on you.

This cyber arms race is aimed against governments, businesses and individuals alike, and it’s comprised of different types and forms of cyber attacks. These attacks grow more sophisticated each year, with over 12,500 new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) reported in 2017 — 78 percent of which were related to network attacks.

It’s critical we learn from the past experiences — successes and failures. So, what can 2017 teach us to be better prepared in 2018? Let’s first look at the hard data.

According to the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, SonicWall Capture Labs detected 184 million ransomware attacks and a 101.2 percent increase in new ransomware variants from more than 1 million sensors across more than 200 countries. The increase in new variations signifies a shift in attack strategies.

In addition, SonicWall Capture Labs logged 9.32 billion malware attacks. Network attacks using encryption tactics are also on the rise. Without the ability to inspect such traffic, an average organization would have missed over 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption.

IoT attacks loom

Internet of Things (IoT) threats and memory attacks are also impending challenges that we face across wired and wireless solutions. According to Gartner, by 2020, IoT technology will be in 95 percent of electronics for new product designs.

Recently, Spiceworks performed a survey that resulted in IoT devices being the most vulnerable to Wi-Fi attacks. This makes IoT and chip processors the emerging battlegrounds. IoT was also a big target as “smart” (pun intended) hardware is not updated regularly and is often physically located in unknown or hard-to-reach places, leading to memory attacks and vulnerabilities.

IoT ransomware attacks are alone on the rise and gain control of a device’s functionality. While many of the IoT devices may not hold any valuable data, there is a risk for owners or individuals to be held at ransom for personal data. Gartner also predicts, through 2022, half of all security budgets for IoT will go to fault remediation, recalls and safety failures rather than protection.

There are many smart devices and IoT devices in the market that connect over Wi-Fi, such as cameras, personal and TVs. Imagine an attack on your personal privacy and a hacker gaining control over your device. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks still remain a major threat to these devices. Each compromised device can send up to 30 million packets per second to the target, creating an IoT powered botnet.

In fact, at one point in 2017, SonicWall Capture Labs was recording more than 62,000 IoT Reaper hits each day. Considering there could be an estimated 6 billion mobile devices in circulation by 2020, it wouldn’t be totally surprising if the next wave of ransomware targets mobile devices,

How to secure wired, wireless and mobile networks

It is critical to secure your network, both from a wireless and wired perspective. Total end-to-end security is the key to prevent such attacks from happening in the first place. To survive this cyber war, you can follow certain best practices to ensure your protection:

  • Layer security across your wired, wireless, mobile and cloud network
  • Deploy next-gen firewalls that can provide real-time intrusion detection and mitigation
  • Patch your firewalls and endpoint devices to the latest firmware
  • Secure your IoT devices to prevent device tampering and unauthorized access
  • Educate your employees on the best practices
  • Change default login and passwords across your devices

SonicWall solutions include next-generation firewalls, 802.11ac Wave 2 access points, secure mobile access appliances and the Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) cloud sandbox service, all of which combine to provide an effective zero-day threat protection ecosystem.

To protect customers against the increasing dangers of zero-day threats, SonicWall’s cloud-based Capture ATP service detects and blocks advanced threats at the gateway until a verdict is returned. In addition, Capture ATP also monitors memory-based exploits via Real-Time Deep Memory InspectionTM (RTDMI). With innovative SonicWall solutions, rest assured your IoT and mobile devices are protected for the cyberwar.

Download the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report

The cyber arms race is a challenge we face together. And it’s the core reason we’re committed to passing our findings, intelligence, analysis and research to the global public via the SonicWall 2018 Cyber Threat Report.

READ THE FULL REPORT