Cryptocurrency ransomware, botnets, and backdoors appear to have substituted Cryptocurrency mining malware as a tool of choice for cybercriminals, based on the recent report from computer security firm Skybox Security

In the report known as “2019 Vulnerability and Threat Trends: Mid-Year Update,” skybox has analyzed the vulnerabilities, exploits, and threats that took place in the first half of 2019 and among the key findings of the report is the increase in the growth of vulnerabilities in cloud containers.

In short, cloud containers are lightweight and less overhead virtual machines (VMs), which can be used to replace classic VMs in various cloud computing deployments due to their speed and simplicity. But, these deployments can result in security errors with old container images along with so-called vulnerabilities quickly replicated and deployed over a public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructure. 

Speaking about cryptocurrencies, the report says that in 2018, crypto mining malware is highly popular among the cybercriminals. But, following the decrease in crypto values, attackers have shifted to ransomware, botnets, and backdoors. The use of these increased by 10%, 8%, and 18% respectively, in the first half of 2018 and also 2019. 

Skybox also says that there is a rise in the growth of vulnerabilities in different cloud services, particularly container software. The report says:
“Vulnerabilities in container software have increased by 46% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Looking at the two-year trend of container vulnerabilities published in first halves, container vulnerabilities have increased by 240%.”

Google refers to Containers as an “offer a logical packaging mechanism in which applications can be abstracted from the environment in which they actually run. Containers allow you to package your application together with libraries and other dependencies, providing isolated environments for running your software services.”

The results indicate that the mobile applications were exploited than any other category in the first half of 2019, with nearly 150 exploits or proof-of-concept.

The positive side of the report is that out of over 7,000 known vulnerabilities present in the first half of 2019, just a few (659) will have an exploit built for, and over 1% will indeed be exploited in a large-scale attack.

But, the awful news is that growing complex computing infrastructure makes it hard to know which of these vulnerabilities will be susceptible to potential attacks and portray a critical risk.