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Cybercriminals seem to be increasingly concentrating their significant firepower on businesses and their treasure troves of data rather than on individuals, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes.

The company today released its Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques report for Q3 2018, which found that detections of cybercriminal activity targeting businesses rose 55 percent in the quarter, compared to Q2 2018. For context, such detections only increased 4 percent for consumers.

Between businesses and consumers, detections rose 5 percent, or by 1.7 million, from Q2 to Q3. That was largely driven by malware strains Emotet and LokiBot, which target banking services by infecting machines in an attempt to steal information.

Regarding the types of attacks, trojans were the most common form for both businesses and consumers, increasing 86 percent from the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the ransomware plague continued, with 40 new variants discovered during the three months ending September 30.

Several new banking trojans came on the scene in Q3, which — coupled with smart evolutions of older strains — brought the traditional malware back into favor.

The news is a bit more optimistic regarding another menace, cryptocurrency mining. The report says malicious cryptocurrency mining has gradually fallen as Bitcoin’s price has plunged. Such attacks dropped 26 percent in the quarter, according to Malewarebytes. The lower profits from mining Bitcoin are likely dissuading some from launching such attacks, the report says.

This follows a huge spike in cryptocurrency mining attacks back in October 2017, when the price of Bitcoin soared. Except for a small surge again over the summer, cryptocurrency mining detections have continued to slide since then, according to the firm.

The other good news is that Malwarebytes says malicious mining is still relatively easy to detect, and to block.

“Staying safe from miners has never been easier,” the report says. “As a result of a year-long onslaught of [cryptocurrency] mining, many vendors now specifically target mining software as potentially malicious. Consumers should be less worried about getting infected with miners and more concerned with banking trojans and spyware.”


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