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New threats and old making life difficult for network security

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cybersecurity
REUTERS

CYBERCRIMINALS are rolling out new methods of penetrating data systems associated with the growing popularity of cryptocurrency mining, though older methods linked to decades-old work software remain relevant threats, network security firm Trend Micro Inc. said.

The Japanese company said a recent study found that while cryptocurrency mining malware has emerged to accompany the spread of digital currencies, but some of the threats remain old and familiar, like worms or macros, increasing the scope of vulnerabilities that information technology (IT) professionals need to protect against.

“According to the Frost and Sullivan study… we need (more) cybersecurity engineers to help address the growing challenge of cybercrime more than ever because as you know we are becoming more and more… interconnected… It means a lot of opportunity for us, but at the same time those opportunities are seen by cybercriminals and threat actors as well,” according to Paul J.S. Oliveria, Trend Micro’s technical communications lead for core technology.

Some threats have been around for a while, like macros, which are typically used in Microsoft Office documents. Mr. Oliveria associated their resurgence with Microsoft’s redesign of Office which no longer enabled macros by default.

“What they are trying to do is… ask people to enable them… It’s not necessarily detectable because it arrives in your computer as a Word document.”

Fileless malware is one of the biggest current challenges, the company said. In this scenario, hackers penetrate a system and leave no trace behind, leaving the target totally unaware.

Mr. Oliveria said vulnerabilities need to be addressed by regularly updating devices, changing default credentials and stay updated on common attacks.

“As we become more and more connected… the challenge now is to how to become more intelligent when an attack happens… How can we address these challenges in order for us to secure the information?” Mr. Oliveria said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang