Hackers Threatened Businesses with Hacktools & Ransomware in 2019


According to a report, there was a drastic move from the enterprise-focused threat to the diversification of sophisticated hacking and stealth technique whiles making use of hacktools. The research took into consideration data from honeypots, product telemetry, intelligence, and Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters according to the information.

It sought to analyze the threat delivered by cybercriminals to businesses in 2019. The year was beyond doubt one of the busiest years for companies battling cyberattacks and cybersecurity firms running analysis on discovered ransomware. The analysis considered Android and iOS, browser-based attacks and threats against macs and windows according to the report. You can checkout how to stay safe with encryption and decryption methods in OS X.

The information reported through the Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters publication revealed that hackers accelerated their attacks on businesses in 2019 with upgraded tools and more efficient strategies. The business detection in 2019 increased by 13% with close to 1 million cases. The research listed adware as the largest threat detected with a number of incidents recorded against organizations in the year under review. There was a 463% increase in adware with Trojan, backdoors, and riskwares being a constant threat to businesses and organizations in 2019. This is a course for concern as the activities of this malware are expected not to be any better in 2020.


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The Trojan malware which has been a major problem for various businesses fell by 25% in 2019 with about 2.8 million recorded cases. This put Trojan malware to the second most detected threat in 2019. Hacktools, and manual infection of businesses through a misconfigured port or unpatched vulnerabilities were really taken advantage of by hackers last year with a whooping of 224% increase. Most of the incidents that made use of these hacktools were not reported by the major news outlets. A lot of serious attacks launched on organizations were probably not even captured in the analyzed data.

While analyzing devices, it was established that mac threat increased exponentially compared to the threat to Windows PCs. It was realized that though the percentage increase of mac threats recorded year over year has been more than 400%, the recorded number was impacted by the larger Malwarebytes by mac users in the year under review. Calculating the threat per endpoint between mac and window PC, Mac PC was ahead by 2:1. The endpoint for global threat volume against businesses facilitated by adware, hacktools, and Trojan recorded a 13% increase as claimed by the Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters.

Emotet, Trickbox and two Trojan turned botnet affected organizations heavily in 2019. Interestingly, the stated hacktools were in the top five threats in any of the regions of the globe reviewed by the analysts. These were also the top detection tools in the retail sector, the education sector, and the services sector. The Trickbox detection alone recorded an increase of more than 50% of the previous year. This is an indication that the hackers are much interested in these tools in the constant attack on businesses and organizations. The net new ransomware activity was at an all-time high with the Ryuk and Sodinokibi ransomware family increasing by 543 and 820% respectively.

The Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters discovered that the increase in hacktools detection in the year under review was largely due to the fact that a number of malware employs the services of hacktools to attack their targets. This contributes to the reason why organizations and businesses recorded a significant increase in hacktools detections. The Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters also observed that the use of hacktools in attacks will increase, cautioning businesses and organizations to be ready as hackers seek to attack from all angles not to just infiltrate the system and steal data, but to operate for a long time without being detected.


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This will see businesses experiencing a more diversification and sophistication for a window focused malware. Also, organizations should expect to see hybrid attacks with the multi-stage payload. This will ensure that the attackers first gain access to information in a bid to plan on the next target of attack. According to the Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters, attackers can choose to spread more infection or decide to sell the infection to other bad actors. According to the researchers, the ransomware attack problem will never go away, as they can see non-affiliated cybercriminals using the tricks employed by state-sponsored hacker groups.

The number of recorded cases is expected to be more than the recorded figures in 2019 as threat actors are increasingly becoming more creative, and developing malware that will be difficult for any defender to stand. It is important for businesses and organizations to channel the same energy used in developing their business to patching security and finding ways to protect sensitive information from the reach of cybercriminals.

Source: Malwarebytes

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