New malware threats are rising faster than ever — and all kinds of businesses are at risk

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New malware threats are rising faster than ever, and all kinds of businesses are at risk, a new report from BlackBerry has claimed.

Based on the company’s initial telemetry for the first quarter of 2024, attacks based on new malware variants rose by 40% per minute. In other words, on average 7,500 unique malware variants were targeting BlackBerry’s customers every day (5.2 a minute). 

Commercial enterprises are being increasingly targeted, too. More than a third (36%) of all threats targeted commercial enterprise (retail, manufacturing, automotive, and professional services), a stat that is up 3% compared to the previous reporting period. Yet, this sector saw a 10% jump in instances of new malware, it was said, as threat actors grew more sophisticated.

Highly motivated hackers

While stealing login information via social engineering, and using access to deploy malware, is certainly a popular method among criminals, they are also increasingly weaponizing software vulnerabilities. This rings particularly true for infostealer and ransomware operators, BlackBerry said.

Finally, law enforcement activities, while commendable, hardly even leave a dent in the overall cybersecurity landscape. LockBit, Hunters International, and 8Base, continue to actively wreak havoc across industries, despite the police’s best efforts to keep these threats contained. 

Ismael Valenzuela, Vice President of Threat Research and Intelligence at BlackBerry, said the threat actors are “highly motivated”, either to steal money from their victims, or to simply watch the world burn. “In a year where over 50 countries are holding elections, geopolitical tensions are at an all-time high, and every nation will soon be fixated on the Olympic Games, the threat landscape can feel overwhelming to navigate.” 

In other words, we can expect even more disinformation and deepfake campaigns this year. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, and the elections, will continue being the key elements of hacking campaigns in the future.

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.