Ransomware Payloads Cause Highest Levels of Spam Emails Since Mid-2010

Ransomware is becoming the root of all evil when it comes to cyber attacks. The number of spam email messages has been increasing for the first time in several quarters. The vast majority of these emails are used to spread ransomware to as many targets as possible. This is not the type of evolution security researchers would be looking for right now.

Ransomware Drives More Waves of Spam Emails

Hardly anyone in the world will be surprised to hear the number of spam emails is on the rise once again. What is rather worrisome is how the overall amount of spam is at its highest peak since mid-2010. Not a great outlook for the future by any means, and it looks like this is only the beginning.

The vast majority of spam messages contain malware, ransomware, and banking Trojans. Cisco Talos Labs researchers are inclined to label this trend as the “new business model” for internet criminals. With close to 400,000 IP addresses on the email spam sending list, the situation has grown dire in recent months.

Botnets, and more particularly the Necurs botnet, are the main culprits for these numbers. High-volume spam has not been too appealing for quite some time now, yet Necurs brought it back a few months ago. Although the majority of email filters can easily identify and block these messages, there is still a lot of junk getting through.

 

What this botnet does is send the maximum amount of messages before filters start blocking specific emails. In some cases this botnet managed to deliver malware and ransomware to computers all over the world, speaking of which, malicious software is quickly becoming the payload of choice rather than scam schemes or phishing emails.

It is evident for everyone to see that there are a lot of attack vectors when it comes to the Internet. While governments all over the world focus on shutting down Telegram or WhatsApp over their encrypted chats, they ignore the bigger threat right in front of them. Until proper security measures are established on a global level, no one will be safe.

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