Just a year after the Mirai malware infected connected devices to create the first IoT botnet, new research from Norton shows that global botnets have continued to grow and spread as a result of unaware users inadvertently infecting others.
According to Norton, the top three countries responsible for hosting the highest number of bots in Europe are Germany at just over eight per cent, Italy at 10 percent and Russia at almost 14 per cent.
The UK was Europe’s 11th highest source of bot infections – which is down from 2015 when it was ranked 7th.
In terms of specific cities, Madrid in Spain was ranked as having the highest amount of bots, followed by Istanbul and Moscow.
In the UK, London was the highest source of bot infections, accounting for 34 per cent of all British bots, followed by Manchester at almost 19 per cent.
Ransomware is one of the biggest cyberthreats of the year and malicious actors are keen to prove they have more innovative approaches, including persuading victims to collaborate in actively spreading the infection.
A new ransomware variant called Popcorn Time was discovered on the deep web and a study of the threat has found a number of unique characteristics. According to a breakdown by Bleeping Computer, the ransomware has some standard features like encrypting files on a target system and offering the ransomware decryption key if a fee is paid.
However, a victim could also receive a ransomware decryption key by spreading the infection. If a victim shares a link to the Popcorn Time ransomware to two other people who pay the ransom, the original victim will get the decryption key. But if a victim inputs an incorrect decryption key four times, the ransomware will begin deleting files.