Food Industry a Major Malware Target in 2017: Report


Businesses in the food industry were hardest hit by various types of malware in 2017, a new report from cybersecurity firm Cylance has revealed.

In its recently released 2017 Threat Report, Cylance said that customers in the food industry sector took the brunt of the malware attacks recorded last year. The food industry took 50% of malware attack out of a number of sectors including the hospitality, healthcare, products and other industries.

Customers from the hospitality sector trailed behind with 19% of attacks coming their way, followed by healthcare at 13%, products at 11% and others at 7%.

The company detected a 13.4% increase in the amount of attacks seen within its client ecosystem, equating to the prevention of over 3900 unique attacks per enterprise globally. In its report, the company also names the ‘top ten malware families’ from 2017 that includes WannaCry, Upatre, Cerber, Emotet, Locky, Petya, Ramnit, Fareit, PolyRansom and Terdot/Zloader. WannaCry, predictably, is at the top of the list.

Cylance head of security research Aditya Kapoor added:

The attacks and threats of 2017 are a reminder of the ingenuity and destructive capabilities of threat actors. All indicators point to a perfect storm with the explosion in the number and types of endpoints requiring protection, the rise in the diversity of attack types, and the ease with which they can be accessed and weaponized.

WannaCry, in particular, affected 58% of the company’s customers in the food industry, 25% in manufacturing and 9% in healthcare.

While there are widespread reports of several hundred WannaCry variants in the wild, the report suggests that this may not actually be the case. A majority of those variants are doctored versions of the original variant that were modified by its developers to alter its kill-switch domain. Other variants are subcomponents that have been carved or extracted from ondisk/in-memory images that lead to different hash values, albeit with identical functionality.

“Ransomware may not be what it seems. The WannaCry outbreak delivered a ransomware payload that rendered systems unusable around the world,” researchers wrote in the report. “hat said, the ransomware itself was very ineffective when it came to generating revenue for the bad actors. Nearly every machine that was compromised could not be recovered since the bad actor’s ransomware site, where the infected user could pay the bitcoin ransom, did not actually deliver the necessary encryption key to the user.”

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