Malware Hidden in Encrypted Traffic Surges Amid Pandemic
According to Zscaler researchers, attackers have been increasingly utilizing a tactic in which malware is hidden inside encrypted traffic. The technique is well-known, but its usage has seen a massive jump since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced employees to resort to teleworking. Zscaler found a 260% increase in 2020 as compared to 2019 in the number of encrypted attacks it handles per month.
Zscaler found that in the first three quarters of 2020, its cloud blocked an average of 773 million attacks per month using this particular method. In 2019, they were blocking an average of 283 million encrypted malware traffic attacks per month. Another interesting trend Zscaler uncovered was a jump in ransomware attacks delivered through SSL/TLS channels. Zscaler states that health care organizations were targeted this most this year, followed by finance/insurance companies and manufacturing organizations.