Top web hosting company Hostinger says that 2023 proved to be a particular bumper year for malware, as its Monarx powered scanner service successfully identified and cleaned close to 500 million threats through the year, which equates to 250 instances per customer.
While this figure is half of what it was in 2022, this is largely due to the company's successful efforts to combat Phoenix, an uploader notorious for delivering other malware to systems.
When Phoenix's influence is removed from the equation, there was an obvious, and significant increase in the number of unique malware pieces across 2023, a rise Hostinger expects to see continue this year.
DDoS attacks incoming
Hostinger noted that malicious activities peaked during sales periods when more people are online and potentially less cautious about security. The company's malware scanner was particularly active during major sales in November and December, and minor spikes were observed in May and August.
The company also says its infrastructure faced over 185,000 DDoS attacks, averaging 500 per day. The company's advanced traffic filter successfully thwarted the majority of these, reducing the use of remotely triggered black holes by up to 95% and improving uptime for services and clients.
The company also reports that 2023 saw a significant rise in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by cybercriminals, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
Emerging threats targeting small businesses and mom-and-pop shops were also identified, and ransomware, which used to primarily target large, solvent businesses, is increasingly being directed at small businesses.
Cryptocurrency miners are ramping up their activities too, Hostinger says, particularly when bitcoin prices fall and traditional mining decreases, making mining on web servers lucrative.
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