Bengaluru, Oct 27: Around 40.9 billion email threats, malicious files, and URLs were blocked in the first half of 2021 for its customers by global cybersecurity leader Trend Micro and in India, it blocked a total number of 1,11,028 email spam, malicious URLs, and malware, the company said on Wednesday.

Globally, ransomware remained the top threat in the first half of the year, and in India, the total ransomware threats stood at 12.98 percent, the second-highest in Asia after China.

Working with third parties to gain access to targeted networks, the cybercriminals used advanced persistent threat tools and techniques to steal and encrypt victims’ data, the findings showed.

“The first step towards effectively mitigating cyber risk is understanding the scale, complexity, and specific characteristics of the threat landscape,” said Vijendra Katiyar, Country Manager, India, and SAARC, Trend Micro.

Cryptocurrency miners became the most detected malware, having surged ahead of WannaCry and web shells in recent months, the report said.

The banking industry was disproportionately affected, experiencing a 1,318 percent (year-on-year) increase in ransomware attacks in the first half of 2021, globally.

The total number of online banking malware detected by Trend Micro in India was 4,497 in the first six months of 2021.

Business email compromise (BEC) attacks increased by 4 percent, potentially as a result of new Covid-19 opportunities for threat actors.

The ‘Zero Day Initiative’ detected 770 vulnerabilities, a slight (2 percent) drop from 1H 2020, and a total of 164 malicious apps related to Covid-19 scams were detected, 54 percent of which impersonated Chinese short-video making app TikTok.

“As threats continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, enterprise security operation center (SOC) teams will require a platform that can streamline security processes without sacrificing reliability,” the report suggested.