Trend Micro 2015 security roundup finds crypto-ransomware and online banking infections continue to plague New Zealand

AUCKLAND, 9 March 2016 – Ransomware has given way to crypto-ransomware as the modus operandi of cybercriminals targeting New Zealand, according to Trend Micro’s annual security roundup report released today, ‘Setting the stage: landscape shifts dictate future threat response strategies.’

With data increasingly being held hostage locally and across the globe, crypto-ransomware rose to 83 percent of overall ransomware use in 2015. Cryptowall was the most frequently used variant, arriving on users’ computers via email or malicious downloads.

Ransomware and crypto-ransomware threats are specifically targeting New Zealand businesses and consumers, carefully crafting their attacks to breach security systems by looking and feeling legitimate to users.

“Crypto-ransomware threats have a significant impact on businesses; often the damage done due to downtime and data recovery costs is well beyond the ransom required to restore the files,” said Indi Siriniwasa, enterprise sales and channel director for Trend Micro Australia and New Zealand. “Businesses across New Zealand need to consider their response to these threats which demand a holistic approach to IT security.”

The annual Trend Micro security roundup report dissects the most significant security incidents from 2015. The research confirms attackers are now bolder, smarter and more daring in attack vectors, cyberespionage efforts and cyber underground activity on a global basis.

The report showed that online banking infections in New Zealand continued to increase, presenting a growing concern for consumers. New Zealand saw 366 infected PCs in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 170 in Q3.

“Our observations for 2015 have confirmed that traditional methods of protecting data and assets are no longer sufficient and should be reassessed to maintain the highest level of corporate and personal security,” continued Indi Siriniwasa. “The prevalence and sophistication of extortion, cyberespionage and expanding targeted attacks now dictate that organisational security strategies must be prepared to defend against a potentially greater onslaught in 2016. This realisation can help the security community better anticipate and respond to what attackers are trying to accomplish.”

“Cybercriminals are continuing to target consumers in increasingly sophisticated ways, catching New Zealanders unaware of the threats and falling victim to cybercrime,” said Tim Falinski, consumer director, Trend Micro Australia and New Zealand. “With Android malware around the world now at 10.6 million and climbing, and crypto-ransomware targeting ordinary people as well as businesses, consumers should make themselves aware of the threats and ensure all their devices – from smartphones to PCs to connected smart devices – are protected.

Online extortion and cyberattacks were a top concern in 2015, with several high-profile organisations being victimised. Ashley Madison, Hacking Team, the Office of Personal Management and Anthem were a few of these high-profile attacks that left millions of employees and customers exposed.

Additional report highlights include:


For the complete report, please visit here.

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