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Top Malware families for October

Check Point : 01 December, 2015  (Technical Article)
Conficker at the top of the list by Check Point of the most frequently seen malware families being used in attacks on businesses
Top Malware families for October

Check Point has revealed the most common malware families being used to attack UK organisations’ networks during October 2015.  Based on intelligence drawn from its ThreatCloud World Cyber Threat Map, which tracks how and where cyberattacks are taking place worldwide in real time, Check Point identified more than 1,500 different malware families globally active in October.

The top three malware variants used to attack UK networks during October were:

1 Conficker – accounted for 20% of all recognized attacks globally. Infected machines are controlled by a botnet that disables security, leaving them vulnerable to more infections
2 Neutrino EK – the 4th most common malware detected globally in October, the exploit kit can be used to attack computers using Java, and is associated with ransomware scams
3 HackerDefender –User-mode Rootkit for Windows that can be used to hide files, processes and registry keys, and also open a backdoor to networks

Globally, three malware families (Conflicker, Sality and Cutwail) accounted for 40% of all recorded attacks, revealing a trend for attacks focusing on remote control of infected PCs, enabling them to be used for launching DDoS and spam campaigns.

Attacks using malware families that enable ransomware scams and theft of users’ credentials also rose sharply.  As well as the Neutrino ransomware exploit kit, Fareit malware, which steals users’ credentials from web browsers and emails, increased dramatically, taking it from 93rd position in September up to the 10th most common malware seen during October.

Simon Moor, UK regional director for Check Point said:  “This data shows the scale of the threat facing organisations’ business-critical data and infrastructures.  Not only do companies have to remain vigilant against established malware families, they also face the challenge of protecting their networks against new, rapidly-emerging attack types.

“It’s easy for hackers to make small changes to malware code to enable it to bypass conventional defences, so companies should consider deploying advanced technologies such as Check Point Sandblast that can stop unknown malware from entering their networks.  By highlighting the top malware families and trends, we’re aiming to help organizations better understand what methods attackers are currently using, and take steps to strengthen their security stance and protect their assets.”

The UK experienced a lower number of attacks per gateway than many countries in Europe:  it was ranked 110th from 133 target countries globally, far lower than Germany (93rd), Switzerland (89th), Spain (57th), France (54th) and Italy (40th).

The Cyber Threat Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence, the largest collaborative network to fight cybercrime which delivers threat data and attack trends from a global network of threat sensors.  The ThreatCloud database holds over 250 million addresses analyzed for bot discovery, over 11 million malware signatures and over 5.5 million infected websites, and identifies millions of malware types daily.

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