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2016 Global Security Report: Botnets Behind Escalation in Malware Activity

The AppRiver report delves into metrics from Web-borne threats, reporting an average of 40 million unique threats daily throughout the second quarter.

There has been an escalation in malware activity, and botnets are largely to blame, according to AppRiver's 2016 Global Security Report. Botnets are making malware and spam campaigns more accessible than ever: Their range is considered to be a primary driver behind the escalation in malware activity—which clocked in at 15.5 billion malicious emails and 30.4 billion spam emails during 2016. The AppRiver report also delves into metrics from Web-borne threats, reporting an average of 40 million unique threats daily throughout the second quarter.

The report notes that in addition to traditional hardware like personal computers, the Internet of Things (IoT) delivers a new catalog of devices that can be hacked for nefarious purposes. Smart watches, mobile phones and smart assistants offer botnets millions more devices that can be used to deliver their malware campaigns, or even to gather data on unfortunate consumers.

The report also includes predictions for 2017, including:

  • Acts of cyber aggression will become the new front lines between nation states.
  • Mobile malware will become a household name.
  • IoT botnets will continue to wreak havoc.
  • Ransomware will continue to be the most prolific threat on the Web.
  • New legislation will be passed to give more investigative powers to law enforcement.

“When Mirai was used to take down Dyn last year, it cast a light on the lack of security protecting IoT devices,” said Troy Gill, manager of security research, AppRiver. “At inception, most devices are created with convenience and fun in mind, not all of the ‘what-ifs’ behind security vulnerabilities. This leads to many security vulnerabilities in the devices, which of course are exploited by hackers.”

We’ve included more details on these attacks and statistics in our Global Security Report. To read the full report and watch our discussion on our findings, visit 2016 Global Security Report.

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