India, most attacked country by data stealing malware in Q’2, 2015: Trend Micro Q2 2015 Roundup

9th September 2015 | By Mouseworld Now Correspondent |

Trend-Micro-logoNew Delhi, September 9, 2015 – The second quarter of 2015 was wrought with high profile vulnerabilities and hacks. Cybercriminals became more inventive in their attack methods to infiltrate and abuse existing technologies that are often overlooked. India emerged as the top targetted nation by data-stealing malware to hijack business transactions and steal information from small and medium sized businesses. Each repurposed existing malware, toolkits, and techniques to target victims from India, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Taiwan, and the United States (US), among other countries.

“In the second quarter, we saw a shift in the threat landscape with cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated and creative, amplifying existing methods of attack, and using them in new ways,” said Myla V. Pilao, Director, TrendLabs Marketing Communications, Trend Micro. “The ethereal outlook on the threat of cybercrime can no longer be held by the general population. This quarter demonstrated that the potential damage caused by cyber attacks extends far beyond a simple software bug to hacks of airplanes, smart cars and television stations.”

Coupled with the fact that attack volumes are of the magnitude of hundreds of millions, the threat that cybercriminals pose today is more tangible than it has ever been. Some of the key numbers from Q2 2015 demonstrate the challenges of today’s threat landscape are:

Number of malware detections across APAC in Q2 2015: Over 118 million
Number of spam messages blocked across APAC: Over 396 million
Hits to malicious URLs from users across APAC: Over 214 million
Hits to malicious URLs hosted in the APAC region: Over 50 million

Hackers are taking more strategic approaches, refining their approach and targeting more selective victims to improve their infection rates. This is reflected by the exponential increase in the use of several traditional attack methods, including a 50 percent increase in the integration of the Angler exploit kit, a 67 percent growth in overall exploit kit-related threats, and CryptoWall ransomware becoming highly targeted, with 79 percent of infections occurring in the U.S.

Additionally, government entities have realized the full impact of cyberattacks during the second quarter with massive data breaches on both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in May and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) system in June. The OPM data breach was the largest of its kind to date, exposing personally identifiable information of approximately 21 million individuals. Other government agencies were impacted by targeted campaigns using macro malware, new command and control (C&C) servers, and the continued use of newly exploited vulnerabilities and 0-days Pawn Storm.

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