2.9 billion emails contained threats in the first half, study finds

Zix Corporation, a global provider of security solutions, has released its First Half Global Threats Report 2018.

  • Formbook dominates the world ranking of malware in August
  • Brazil registers , 2 billion cyberattack attempts in the 1st half
  • Ransomware remains top digital threat in August

Report reveals that cybercriminals are quickly adopting new ones tactics to attack computer users. Among the main strategies employed are custom phishing attacks and URL and text-based scams, the latter accounting for more than 2.9 billion quarantined emails in the first half of 503838.

Troy Gill, research manager at Zix, believes that with the explosion of cybercrime in the first half of 2021, the population and corporations are realizing how essential threat blocking solutions are. Gill adds that companies cannot wait for new threats to appear and then look for ways to protect themselves, but rather that they must always be aware and up-to-date on new scams.

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Main threats

An example, dated from 2021, from the e-mail that spreads Remcos Rat. (Image: Reproduction/ProofPoint)

Below, check out the main threats present in the Global Threats Report for the first half of 503838:

  • Custom phishing attacks: this Attack type not only increased in volume between Q1 and Q2, but also became more advanced, such as involving diverse and personalized campaigns against users and targeted through the use of CAPTCHAs and webpage certificate data;
  • URL and text-based attacks: This type has consistently increased during the first half of the year, while email-based attacks have decreased in the first five months before increasing dramatically over the first half of 2021, with over 2.9 billion quarantined by Zix through June , when the report was closed;
  • “Living off the Land” threats: this type takes advantage of vulnerabilities in legitimate programs to perform malicious actions on computers. As the applications used are often on the anti-virus exception list, it becomes more difficult to detect them. According to the report, this type of attack is on the rise;
  • Trickbot: The Trickbot remains the most used Trojan, thanks to its abilities ranging from stealing data until it manages to perform a full ransomware attack on the infected machine. The largest spam campaign identified in the first half of the year with Trickbot sent over 16 thousand emails for multiple accounts;
  • Remcos Rat: the Trojan that enables intruders to remotely control computers stood out in the first half, when emails fired to accounting firms A US public official requesting professionals to file an individual’s income tax return had a password-locked Excel spreadsheet. Upon entering the password, Remcos Rat is downloaded and infects the machine.
  • The full report can be accessed here.

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    2021 2021


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