Taiwan one of most impacted countries by WannaCry ransomeware in 2018

Cybersecurity company Trend Micro recently published its Annual Security Roundup

Trend Micro says the landscape of cybersecurity threats is changing

Trend Micro says the landscape of cybersecurity threats is changing (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan was one of the nations most impacted by WannaCry ransomware attacks in 2018, according to a new report.

Taiwanese cybersecurity and defense company Trend Micro recently published a 2018 Annual Security Roundup entitled “Caught in the Net: Unraveling the Tangle of Old and New Threats.” The report indicates that although the total number of reported ransomware attacks were lower in 2018 than 2017, the number of those associated with the WannaCry cryptoworm rose.

The virus particularly impacted a number of Asian countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and China, the report states.

WannaCry encrypts data on computers then demands ransoms from users in Bitcoin, threatening to delete files if the payment is not made within a set amount of days. The initial outbreak was slowed when Microsoft released new protective patches after just a few days in 2017, but Windows users continued to be infected in 2018.

A new variant caused Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to temporarily shut down several of its chip-fabrication plants last year.

Trend Micro states the landscape of cybersecurity threats is shifting. Cryptocurrency mining attacks were up 237 percent from 2017, and phishing scams increased by a significant 269 percent.

One well-known form of deceit that appears to be on the rise is business email compromise (BEC), the company announced. BEC involves perpetrators either spoofing or hacking company executive email accounts to trick partners into wiring money.

As phishing attacks do not involve infecting the computers of victims with malicious programs, Trend Micro says, they cannot be prevented by traditional security measures. For this specific reason, the company last year unveiled “writing style analysis” software to detect imposter emails.

Trend Micro operates around the world, with global headquarters in Tokyo, and its research and development center in Taipei.