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DomainTools 2018 Predictions: Ransomware and DDoS on the Move

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Michael Klatt, VP of Research and Development and Sean McNee, Senior Data Scientist, DomainTools

Ransomware and DDoS on the Move

The rise of cryptocurrencies has paved the way for an exponential rise in ransomware this past year. The perpetrators, who take over an organization's or individual's computer system and hold it ransom until a sum of money is paid, are protected by the anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to a recent DomainTools survey of business and security executives, ransomware is the number one security concern keeping them up at night. The main reason a third of organizations are fearful of these attacks is the fact that hackers are becoming increasingly savvy. Concerns about impacts to brand reputation, financial damage and potential intellectual property loss also top of list of worries.

Another malicious threat to everyday systems, DDoS attacks, are expected to continue to compromise businesses without discrimination in the coming year. While these incidents typically target the systems of larger corporations such as Trump Hotels, our DomainTools Research experts expect growth in "down-markets" as well as an increase in strength and prevalence overall.

DomainTools' VP of Research and Development, Michael Klatt and Senior Data Scientist, Sean McNee provide insight on what we can expect with ransomware and DDoS in 2018:

"Cryptocurrency was a "killer app" and enabled and fueled the growth of ransomware and related ransom threats in 2017.
This will continue to grow in 2018 to include holding identities for ransom. Users will receive emails or phone calls telling them that their SSNs and other information has been compromised (with evidence) and then instructed to pay via bitcoin to prevent the data from being leaked." - Michael Klatt, VP of Research and Development

 "As the large-scale ransomware attacks this year showed, many organizations are vulnerable. In 2018, there will be an increase in smaller players getting in on this action by attacking smaller institutions. Expect ransomware, DDOS, and phishing campaigns to target not critical infrastructure, but smaller banks, corporations, and universities. These should be easy to block, but volumes will grow dramatically and will over-burden SOCs." - Sean McNee, Senior Data Scientist


About the Authors


Michael Klatt 

Michael joined DomainTools in 2005 and helped develop the back-end systems powering many of DomainTools' most popular products. He managed Engineering for 4 years before moving to his new role in R&D in 2012, where he focuses on exploring new technical opportunities & solutions. Michael is an expert in DNS and has deep experience with the collection and processing of Big Data.


Sean McNee 

Sean has a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Minnesota. His research and business efforts focus on the creation of actionable insights in support of critical decision- making through the use of new technologies and workflows over corporate & Internet networking data.

Published Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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