McAfee reports PowerShell malware attacks increased by 689% in 2020

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A recent report from McAfee observed the rapid increase of malware that targets both organizations and individuals. A 689% increase in malware is a significant threat to businesses and the global cybersecurity industry.

Compared to the previous quarter, PowerShell malware recorded an increase of 689% in the first three months of 2020. The Donoff family of TrojanDownloader is responsible for the sharp spike in PowerShell malware and responsible for the New Macro Malware, which saw a 412% increase in the first three months of 2020.

Startling spikes

In general terms, PowerShell malware has risen by a whopping 1,902% over the past one year. The aptly named “COVID-19 Threats Report” revealed that McAfee observed 375 new threats per minute in the first quarter.

Raj Samani, fellow and chief scientist at McAfee, pointed out that the threats are the result of opportunistic cyber-criminals, taking advantage of the ‘work from home’ situation. Now that people have to conduct their work from home, cyber-attacks targeting individuals increased, with reports of increased attacks globally.

Cybercriminals have adopted new mechanisms that they use to gain access to systems and cloud networks. Raj also added that phishing activities and malicious applications have evolved into malicious URLs, exploiting the vulnerability of ignorant victims who want to get information on COVID-19.

North America, most affected

The threats targeting cloud services hiked by about 630%. The cybercriminals have noted the increasing popularity of Microsoft 365 services during the lockdown and are making this collaboration tool and many others, their top priorities.

North America was one of the major victims, with the United States being the most affected. The findings recorded that 47% of the incidents took place in the US. Europe, on the other hand, received just 9% of the incidents. There will be more to come.

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