Categories: CyberCrimeSecurity

McAfee Report Highlights Rise In Cyber Threats And Evasion Techniques

McAfee Labs has released its June threat report, revealing that there were 244 new threats every minute – more than four every second – during Q1 2017.

There were 301 publicly disclosed security incidents in Q1, a 53 percent increase from the previous quarter, with healthcare, education and the public sector accounting for more than half of the total.

The total number of malware samples has also increased, rising 22 percent in the last four quarters to 670 million known samples.

All rise

Other stats from the threat report serve to paint a picture of the rapidly developing cyber threat landscape which is leaving businesses in all industries constantly at risk from cyber criminals.

Ransomware has continued to be one of the big talking points following the WannaCry epidemic and the total number of ransomware samples has grown 59 percent in the past four quarters to 9.6 million known samples.

Mobile malware has enjoyed even bigger growth, increasing by 79 percent over the same period to 16.7 million samples.

Whilst the majority of this malware is targeting PCs, the number of Mac OS malware samples grew 53 percent in Q1 2017, suggesting that cyber criminals are taking a greater interest in the Apple platform.

Cyber evasion

The report also investigates the evasion techniques that have been employed by cyber criminals to avoid detection and analysis

They are broadly classified into three categories: Anti-security techniques, used to avoid detection by tools such as firewalls and anti-malware engines; Anti-sandbox techniques, used to detect automatic analysis and avoid engines that report on malware behaviour malware and anti-analyst techniques, used to detect and fool malware analysts by spotting monitoring tools.

By making use of these techniques, hackers could be able to not only avoid initial detection, but also stay hidden on a network for long periods of time. Among other things, this would enable cyber espionage to take place, something which has grown in prevalence in recent times.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of anti-security, anti-sandbox, and anti-analyst evasion techniques employed by hackers and malware authors, and many of them can be purchased off the shelf from the Dark Web,” said Vincent Weafer, vice president of McAfee Labs.

“This quarter’s report reminds us that evasion has evolved from trying to hide simple threats executing on a single box, to the hiding of complex threats targeting enterprise environments over an extended period of time, to entirely new paradigms, such as evasion techniques designed for machine learning based protection.”

Are you a security pro? Try our quiz!

Sam Pudwell

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

Recent Posts

Boeing Starliner Launches Successfully, On Route To International Space Station

Boeing's crewless space taxi, CST-100 Starliner, one step closer to NASA certification, as it enters…

1 day ago

Apple Accused By Union Of Staff Law Violations At NY Store

Staff at Apple's World Trade Centre store in New York are allegedly being questioned and…

2 days ago

Canada To Join Five Eyes 5G Ban On Huawei/ZTE

Making it official. Canada is to turn its unofficial ban on 5G kit from Huawei…

2 days ago

Twitter To Hide Tweets That Share False Information During A Crisis

Potentially risking Elon's wrath over free speech, Twitter says it will hide tweets spreading misinformation…

2 days ago

Boeing Starliner Test Flight Readied For Tonight

Third time the charm? Main rival to SpaceX's Dragon capsule, the embattled Boeing Starliner spacecraft,…

2 days ago

September 13 Slated For iPhone 14 Launch – Report

No surprise there. Apple is slated to launch the iPhone 14 on 13 September according…

2 days ago