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New research shows that hackers expand their activities during the holidays. Hackers send more spam, in the form of messages from postal workers and online shops, in the hope of gaining access to payment details of unsuspecting victims.

This is shown by new research by security firm F-Secure Corp. The study shows that spam will continue to be the most common method used by hackers to spread their malware in 2018. In nine out of ten attempts to infect a device with malware, this was done via spam. About 69 percent of the attempts were about people who were traced to an infected web address.

Not considered spam

F-Secure researcher Adam Sheehan says in a statement about the research that many people don’t experience this kind of spam as spam at this time of the year. This is because of the content. These are often messages that contain so-called information about delivery times of packages or about payments that still need to be made. People are more open to this kind of spoof at this time of year, says Sheehan.

Trials of F-Secure around Black Friday and Cyber Monay phishing emails showed that 39 percent more people click, than when similar tactics are applied in other parts of the year. This indeed means that people are more susceptible to this kind of spam via e-mail around the holidays.

Other attacks

Other methods of attack were also used in 2018. It turned out that the number of active exploitation kits decreased by 33 percent compared to the previous year, and by no less than 87 percent compared to 2013. The use of banking trojans like Emotet, Trickbot and Panda is increasing.

The number of ransomware attacks has further decreased. The number of infection paths, such as with the trojans, that leave the door open for ransomware attacks that come after an initial infection, is increasing. In front of SiliconANGLE, NuData Security’s vice president of consumer success Ryan Wilk tells us that attacks of this kind always recur at this time of year. Customers quickly search for gifts and good offers and are then simply susceptible.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.