Malware closed out 2019 on a strong note. According to AV-TEST, malware authors’ efforts throughout the year helped push the total number of known malware above one billion samples. This development wouldn’t have been possible without the vigor exhibited by malware authors in the fall of 2019. Indeed, after detecting 8.5 million new samples in June and 9.56 million specimens the following month, AV-TEST saw the monthly totals jump up above 13 million in August. This monthly rate of detection has not faltered at the time of writing. After peaking in September with 17.70 million, it’s actually remained above 15 million with the exception of October at 13.52 million samples.

AV-TEST’s findings paint a picture of a threat landscape flooded with malware. While threat actors can use these samples to get up to trouble in any old way, it’s likely that more and more criminals will flock to certain channels rather than others over the coming year. Here are three such trends that organizations should keep an eye on in 2020.

1. Fileless Attacks Will Continue to Become More Commonplace

We have two main reasons to anticipate that fileless malware attacks will become more commonplace in 2020. First, the security community observed an increase in fileless attacks over the previous year. Trend Micro noted in September 2019 that detections of fileless attacks across H1 2019 had increased by 265 percent over the previous year, for instance. A few months later, Bleeping Computer reported that threat actors had begun abusing the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) as a new technique to target organizations with fileless malware attacks. Nefarious individuals will likely continue to come up with other tactics in the coming months.

Second, security researchers tracked more categories of digital threats beginning to incorporate fileless techniques into (Read more...)