2 min Security

IBM: Destructive malware attacks have doubled since January

The number of destructive malware attacks doubled in the first half of 2019 compared to the second half of 2018. The largest growth can be seen in ransomware in combination with so-called wiper elements. This segment grew by no less than 116 percent since January of this year.

While not all ransomware attacks contain destructive malware, the simultaneous growth of all ransomware attacks and those with destructive elements underscores the increased threat to ransomware companies capable of permanently removing data, according to a report by IBM’s X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services team.

The wiper elements in the ransomware allow you to delete data. In this way, the pressure on victims to pay ransom should be increased, writes Silicon Angle.

The destructive attacks cost multinational companies on average 239 million dollars (about 213 million euros). By way of comparison, a data breach costs companies an average of 3.92 million dollars (3.5 million euros).


In the first half of 2019, MegaCortex was a well-known -and one of the most prominent- forms of the aforementioned ransomware. This malware was discovered in May this year and carried out as many as 47 attacks within a week.

MegaCortex appears to be designed to attack large corporate networks and is part of a carefully planned, targeted attacks, Sophos said in May. The attacks detected came from corporate networks in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy and France. Sophos blocked the attacks.

Another prominent ransomware attack in the first six months of this year was LockerGoga. This ransomware is similar to MegaCortex. The two ransomware families have the financial component of traditional ransomware, but also go after industrial systems and data.


The IBM researchers state that cybercriminals still use phishing mainly to attack. Second is password guessing, followed by third party connections and watering hole attacks.

In watering hole attacks, criminals target a specific organization with malware installed on websites that employees often use. In this way, cybercriminals hope to infect computers in the organization.

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.