Cyber attacks targeting A/NZ fell 14% in 2019

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 14 February, 2020

Cyber attacks targeting A/NZ fell 14% in 2019

Cyber attacks targeting Australia or New Zealand fell by 14% year-on-year during 2019 — in stark contrast to the global increase of 1%, according to Malwarebytes.

The company’s latest State of Malware report found that adware was the most prevalent malware found by the Malwarebytes tool targeting both consumers and businesses across the two markets.

Three of the top five threat families targeting the region by detections were adware.

Cryptomining was only the third most prevalent threat for consumers, with attackers showing a preference for pursuing revenue from advertising, bundlers and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).

Despite the decline, some high-profile attacks still occurred such as the ransomware attacks on several Victorian health service providers and on Insurance House Group.

The report also found that Australia was home to around 0.29% of global detections of the high-profile Emotet banking Trojan, and for 0.36% of detections of the TrickBot banking Trojan. Globally, TrickBot business detections grew by 52% from the prior survey.

Meanwhile, global adware detections grew by 13% for consumers and 463% for businesses, and seven of the 10 top consumer threat families were adware variants.

“A rise in pre-installed malware, adware and multi-vector attacks signals that threat actors are becoming more creative and increasingly persistent with their campaigns,” said Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski.

“It is imperative that, as an industry, we continue to raise the bar in defending against these sophisticated attacks, actively protecting both users and businesses by flagging and blocking all programs that may violate their privacy, infect their devices or even turn the infrastructure they depend on against them.”

Another notable global trend was a significant increase in the number of detected Mac threats. Overall, Mac threats increased by more than 400%, with Malwarebytes detecting an average of 11 threats per Mac endpoint in 2019 — nearly double the average of 5.8 threats per endpoint on Windows.

Image credit: © Thew

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