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Check Point Research Shows Rise in DDoS-related Malware in January 2016

February 2016 by Check Point

Check Point has revealed the most common malware families being used to attack organizations’ networks and mobile devices globally in January 2016. 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 during January, continuing the trend first seen in December 2015 when the number of active families rose by 25%.

While the Conficker and Sality families remained the two most commonly used malwares for the second month running, collectively accounting for 34% of all attacks globally, Dorkbot, associated with DDoS attacks and exploits targeting sensitive data, was a new entry to the top three, responsible for 5% of attacks during the month.

The top three malware families, which accounted for 39% of the total attacks in January were:

1. ↔ Conficker – accounted for 24% of all recognized attacks, machines infected by Conficker are controlled by a botnet. It also disables security services, leaving computers even more vulnerable to other infections.

2. ↑Sality - Virus that allows remote operations and downloads of additional malware to infected systems by its operator. Its main goal is to persist in a system and provide means for remote control and installing further malware.

3. ↑Dorkbot - IRC-based Worm designed to allow remote code execution by its operator, as well as download additional malware to the infected system, with the primary motivation being to steal sensitive information and launch denial-of-service attacks.

During January, the UK was the 89th most attacked country globally, rising from 99th in December 2015. By comparison it was attacked more than the USA (115), but less than Germany (95), Spain (70) and France (76).

Check Point’s research also revealed the most prevalent mobile malware during January 2015, and once again attacks against Android devices significantly more common than iOS. The top three mobile malware were:

1. ↑ AndroRAT - Malware that is able to pack itself with a legitimate mobile application and install without the user’s knowledge, allowing a hacker full remote control of an Android device.

2. ↓ Xinyin - Observed as a Trojan-Clicker that performs Click Fraud on Chinese ad sites.

3. ↑Leech - Malware designed to send text messages from infected mobile devices to premium rate numbers hard-coded within the file.

Nathan Shuchami, Head of Threat Prevention at Check Point said: “The increase in DDoS attacks against public websites has been well publicised in the past couple of months, and the fact that the Dorkbot family is becoming more prevalent underlines the fact that businesses need to be taking steps to protect themselves against such attacks. The range and volume of attacks that organisations face has continued to grow in the early stages of 2016, highlighting the challenges they face in securing their networks. As such it is critical that organizations deploy protection to prevent them being exploited and ensure that their data is secure.”

The ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloudTM 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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