Ransomware Locky continues to rise, moving up from third to second place, while the Zeus banking Trojan moved up two spots, returning it to the top three in the month of October according to the latest monthly Global Threat Index by cyber security firm Check Point.
The report revealed that the number of active malware families and number of attacks increased by 5% during the period, pushing the number of attacks on business networks to near peak levels, as seen earlier this year.
Conficker continued to lead as the world’s most prevalent malware responsible for17% of recognized attacks. Locky, which only started its distribution in February of this year, and Zeus, were responsible for 5% of known attacks.
“Attackers want to be as stealthy as possible to reduce the chance they will be detected. Thus, business can no longer continue to operate a traditional security model. To fight these growing threats, enterprises needs intelligent next generation threat prevention solutions,” said Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu, Managing Director, Check Point, India & SAARC.
“Business should look towards implementing prevention based security initiatives so as to provide a healthy cyber security system. A prevention based approach helps identify both known and unknown threats and stop them real time,” he added.
The reason for Locky’s continued growth is the constant variation and expansion of its distribution mechanism, which is primarily through spams emails. Its creators are continually changing the type of files used for downloading the ransomware, including doc, xls and wsf files, as well as making significant structural changes to the spam emails. The actual ransomware itself is nothing exceptional, but cybercriminals are investing a lot of time into maximizing the number of machines that become infected by it. For the seventh consecutive month, HummingBad, an android malware that establishes a persistent root kit to carry out an array of malicious purposes, remained the most common malware used to attack mobile devices.
Nathan Shuchami, Head of Threat Prevention at Check Point, explained, “The fact the top ten malware remained virtually the same as September suggests that cybercriminals have enjoyed a considerable amount of success with these attack methods, signaling to organizations that they need to proactively respond to protect their critical business assets. It is particularly concerning that a malware family as established and well known as Conficker is so effective, suggesting that organizations aren’t using the latest, multi-layered defenses.”