Hackers hacked into legitimate sites to host files on 40 percent of malicious links in 2018, according to a report by security firm Webroot. The study also says that link choppers – often used on social networks like Twitter – pose considerable risk to users and that phishing attacks (for password-stealing with cloned pages) have grown 36 percent this year.
These numbers point out that users need to exercise caution when accessing unsolicited links, even when they point to legitimate sites. As there is a considerable chance that the site has been hacked and hacked, it is necessary that netizens be careful not only with the destination of the link, but with its source – that is, how it was received.
The data is based on 32 billion links analyzed by Webroot systems throughout the year. The links belonged to 750 million different domains.
Brazil in the ‘top 10’
Webroot also has sensors to detect malicious activity on the Internet and suspicious programs on users’ computers and businesses. Brazil appears in the report as one of the ten countries that contributed the most IP addresses used in attacks.
This means that hackers are probably hacking into computers in Brazil or leasing services at data processing centers to launch attacks against other systems around the world. Even among the top ten, Brazilian participation was modest (2%) compared to China (28%) and the United States (21%), but it was higher than Russia’s (1.9%).
Not all Webroot figures point to a worsening scenario. The report indicates that Windows 10 users are up to twice as protected as Windows 7 users – suggesting an improvement in Windows security – and that the number of computer-detected malicious files is declining.
Attacks with ransomware also dropped in 2018, though they have become more targeted, meaning hackers are picking more targets and performing more sophisticated attacks. However, there was no reduction in the number of cryptomeoid attacks, despite successive decreases in Bitcoin’s value and derivatives.