Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has published its latest Global Threat Index for February 2022. Researchers report that Emotet is still the most prevalent malware, impacting 5% of organizations worldwide, while Trickbot has slipped even further down the index into sixth place.
Trickbot is a botnet and banking trojan that can steal financial details, account credentials, and personally identifiable information, as well as spread laterally within a network and drop ransomware. During 2021, it appeared at the top of the most prevalent malwares list seven times. During the past few weeks, however, Check Point Research, has noted no new Trickbot campaigns and the malware now ranks sixth in the index. This could be due in part to some Trickbot members joining the Conti ransomware group, as suggested in the recent Conti data leak.
This month, CPR has witnessed cybercriminals taking advantage of the Russia/Ukraine conflict in order to lure people to download malicious attachments, and February’s most prevalent malware, Emotet, has indeed been doing just this, with emails that contain malicious files and the subject “Recall: Ukraine -Russia Military conflict: Welfare of our Ukrainian Crew member”.
“Currently we are seeing a number of malwares, including Emotet, take advantage of the public interest around the Russia/Ukraine conflict by creating email campaigns on the topic that lure people into downloading malicious attachments. It’s important to always check that a sender’s email address is authentic, look out for any misspellings in emails and don’t open attachments or click on links unless you are certain that the email is safe.” said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software
CPR revealed this month that Education/Research continues to be the most attacked industry globally followed by Government/Military and Internet service provider (ISP) / managed service provider (MSP). “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 46% of organizations globally, followed by “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” which dropped from first to second place and impacts 44% of organizations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” is the third most exploited vulnerability, with a global impact of 41%.
Top Malware Families
*The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month.
This month, Emotet is still the most prevalent malware impacting 5% of organizations worldwide, closely followed by Formbook which is impacting 3% of organizations and Glupteba which is impacting 2%.
- ↔ Emotet – Emotet is an advanced, self-propagating and modular Trojan. Emotet, once used as a banking Trojan, has recently been used as a distributer to other malware or malicious campaigns. It uses multiple methods for maintaining persistence and evasion techniques to avoid detection. In addition, it can be spread through phishing spam emails containing malicious attachments or links.
- ↑ Formbook – Formbook is an Info Stealer that harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to its C&C orders.
- ↑ Glupteba – Glupteba is a backdoor which gradually matured into a botnet. By 2019 it included a C&C address update mechanism through public BitCoin lists, an integral browser stealer capability and a router exploiter.
Top Attacked Industries Globally
This month Education/Research is the most attacked industry globally, followed by Government/Military and ISP/MSP.
Top Exploited Vulnerabilities
This month “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 46% of organizations globally, followed by “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” which has dropped from first place to second and impacts 44% of organizations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” is the third most exploited vulnerability, with a global impact of 41%.
- ↑ Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure – An information disclosure vulnerability has been reported in Git Repository. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an unintentional disclosure of account information.
- ↓ Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution (CVE-2021-44228) – A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Apache Log4j. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system.
- ↔ HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-10826,CVE-2020-10827,CVE-2020-10828,CVE-2020-13756) – HTTP headers let the client and the server pass additional information with a HTTP request. A remote attacker may use a vulnerable HTTP Header to run arbitrary code on the victim’s machine.
Top Mobile Malware
This month XLoader is the most prevalent mobile malware, followed by xHelper and AlienBot.
- XLoader – XLoader is an Android Spyware and Banking Trojan developed by the Yanbian Gang, a Chinese hacker group. This malware uses DNS spoofing to distribute infected Android apps to collect personal and financial information.
- xHelper – A malicious application seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and displaying advertisements. The application can hide from the user and reinstall itself in case it was uninstalled.
- AlienBot – AlienBot malware family is a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) for Android devices that allows a remote attacker to firstly inject malicious code into legitimate financial applications then allows the attacker to obtain access to the victims’ accounts, and eventually completely control their device.
Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles. The intelligence is enriched with AI-based engines and exclusive research data from Check Point Research, The Intelligence & Research Arm of Check Point Software Technologies.
The complete list of the top 10 malware families in February can be found on the Check Point blog.
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About Check Point Research
Check Point Research (CPR) provides leading cyber threat intelligence to Check Point Software customers and the greater intelligence community. The research team collects and analyzes global cyber-attack data stored on ThreatCloud to keep hackers at bay, while ensuring all Check Point solutions are updated with the latest protections. The research team consists of over 100 analysts and researchers cooperating with other security vendors, law enforcement and various CERTs.