Security

Ransomware, Malware Threats Rise in Second Quarter

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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The Quick Heal report outlines the top malware afflicting Windows and Android users, with a brief low-down on each of the malware families

While the second quarter of 2016 (April, May, and June) saw a small decline in the detection count malware in both Google Android and Windows-based devices, this should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness in cyber criminals, according to a report from Quick Heal Technologies.

The company’s research labs recorded a steady increase in the detection of potential unwanted programs (PUA), but noted a more concerning matter was the 200 percent increase in the detection of mobile ransomware in this quarter alone.

In fact, this level detection is almost close to half of the detection of all the four quarters of 2015 combined, while newer variants of Windows malware have joined the pack of the top 10 malware of the second quarter and security vulnerabilities have swelled to scary proportions.

Top Malware

The report outlines the top malware afflicting Windows and Android users, with a brief low-down on each of the malware families, and lays out the difference between the malware detection stats of this quarter and that of the previous.

malwareThis is accompanied by some observations about certain malware that caught the company’s attention due to their unique behavior.

Compared with the previous quarter (Q1 2016), this quarter has seen a decline of 16 percent in the detection count of malware on Windows computers.

The top malware was Trojan.Starter.YY4, a Trojan that works by connecting to a remote server and installing other malware on the computer that it infects, in essence being used as an entry point by other malware.

This malware is linked to various banking Trojans and worms designed to spread over networks, and allows hackers to steal confidential data like credit card details and personal information from the infected system.

As observed by Quick Heal in the first quarter, Mindsparki, BrowseFox and Clientconnect were the top PUA families with the highest detection rate.

In Q2 however, the company found new families coming up which include Askcom, InstallCore, and Greentree.Greentree, which have generally be marked as low risk threats, but Quick Heal researchers noted some of them can be difficult to remove once they have infected a computer.

“Users need to exercise caution while clicking on the Accept button while installing any software, particularly the free ones,” the report warned. “We strongly recommended users to read the Privacy Policy and End User License Agreement so that they understand what all applications are going to get installed besides the primary software.”

The report also noted carefully planned and targeted attacks on government organizations, and other private sectors are increasing, and so are cases of ransomware incidents.

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Originally published on eWeek