Update: The 2023 Malware League Table

Leading provider of cyber security solutions, Check Point Software, has published its Global Threat Index for August 2023. Researchers reported on a new variant of the ChromeLoader malware, which has been targeting Chrome browser users with fake ads loaded with malicious extensions. 

Meanwhile, the communications sector ranked as the second most impacted industry globally, knocking healthcare off the list for the first time this year.

A notable new development is the appearance of ChromeLoader, a persistent Google Chrome browser hijacker, first discovered in 2022. Ranked 10th in last month’s top malware families, it is designed to secretly install bad extensions through fake advertising on web browsers. In one recent exploit, victims are duped into running VBScript files that install malicious Chrome extensions. Once installed, they can collect personal data and disrupt browsing with unwanted ads. 

FBI - Dutch Hunt

In August, the FBI announced a significant victory in its global operation against the Qakbot (sometimes called  Qbot). In "Operation Duck Hunt" the FBI seized control of the botnet, removed the malware from infected devices, and identified a substantial number of affected devices. Qakbot evolved into a malware delivery service used for various cybercriminal activities, including ransomware attacks. It typically spreads through phishing campaigns and collaborates with other threat actors. Although it remained the most prevalent malware in August, Check Point did observe a significant decrease in its impact after the FBI operation. 

August also saw the communications sector take second place as one of the most impacted industries globally, overtaking healthcare for the first time in 2023.

There have been multiple examples of organisations in the sector facing cyberattacks this year. 
In March, Chinese state-sponsored cyberespionage group APT41 was observed targeting the telecommunication sector in the Middle East. The threat actors infiltrated Internet-facing Microsoft Exchange servers to perform command execution, conduct reconnaissance, steal credentials, and perform lateral movement and data exfiltration activities.

“We should all remain vigilant, work together and continue to practice good security hygiene across all attack vectors.” said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point. She also revealed that “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” was the most exploited vulnerability, impacting 40% of organiszations globally, followed by “Command Injection Over HTTP” which impacted 38% of organizations worldwide. “MVPower CCTV DVR Remote Code Execution” came in third with a global impact of 35%.

Top Malware Families

Qbot was the most prevalent malware last month with an impact of 5% worldwide organisations, followed by Formbook with a global impact of 4%, and Fakeupdates with a global impact of 3%.    


1.  Qbot – Qbot / Qakbot is a multipurpose malware that first appeared in 2008. It was designed to steal a user’s credentials, record keystrokes, steal cookies from browsers, spy on banking activities, and deploy additional malware. Often distributed via spam email, Qbot employs several anti-VM, anti-debugging, and anti-sandbox techniques to hinder analysis and evade detection. Commencing in 2022, it emerged as one of the most prevalent Trojans.  

2.  Formbook – Formbook is an Infostealer targeting the Windows OS and was first detected in 2016. It is marketed as Malware as a Service (MaaS) in underground hacking forums for its strong evasion techniques and relatively low price. FormBook harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to orders from its C&C. 

3.  Fakeupdates - Fakeupdates (AKA SocGholish) is a downloader written in JavaScript. It writes the payloads to disk prior to launching them. Fakeupdates led to further compromise of many other malwares, including GootLoader, Dridex, NetSupport, DoppelPaymer, and AZORult.

The Top Attacked Industries Worldwide

Education/Research remained in first place as the most attacked industries globally in August 2023 followed by Communications and Government/Military.

1.    Education/Research
2.    Communications
3.    Government/Military

Top Exploited Vulnerabilities 

Last month, “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” was the most exploited vulnerability, impacting 40% of organisations globally, followed by “Command Injection Over HTTP”, which impacted 38% of organisations worldwide. “MVPower CCTV DVR Remote Code Execution” was the third most used vulnerability, with a global impact of 35%.

1. 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.

2.  Command Injection Over HTTP (CVE-2021-43936, CVE-2022-24086) - A command Injection over HTTP vulnerability has been reported. A remote attacker can exploit this issue by sending a specially crafted request to the victim. Successful exploitation would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target machine. 

3.  MVPower CCTV DVR Remote Code Execution (CVE-2016-20016)- A remote code execution vulnerability exists in MVPower CCTV DVR. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system.

Top Mobile Malwares

Last month Anubis remained in the top spot as the most prevalent Mobile malware, followed by AhMyth and SpinOk.

1. Anubis – Anubis is a banking Trojan malware designed for Android mobile phones. Since it was initially detected, it has gained additional functions including Remote Access Trojan (RAT) functionality, keylogger, audio recording capabilities and various ransomware features. It has been detected on hundreds of different applications available in the Google Store.

2.  AhMyth - AhMyth is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) discovered in 2017. It is distributed through Android apps that can be found on app stores and various websites. When a user installs one of these infected apps, the malware can collect sensitive information from the device and perform actions such as keylogging, taking screenshots, sending SMS messages, and activating the camera, which is usually used to steal sensitive information.

3.  SpinOk - SpinOk is an Android software module that operates as spyware. It collects information about files stored on devices and is capable of transferring them to malicious threat actors. The malicious module was found present in more than 100 Android apps and was downloaded more than 421,000,000 times as of May 2023.

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map provide real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles.   

You Might Also Read: 

The Most Used Malware In H1 2023:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

If you like this website and use the comprehensive 6,500-plus service supplier Directory, you can get unrestricted access, including the exclusive in-depth Directors Report series, by signing up for a Premium Subscription.

  • Individual £5 per month or £50 per year. Sign Up
  • Multi-User, Corporate & Library Accounts Available on Request

Cyber Security Intelligence: Captured Organised & Accessible


 

 

« US National Cyber Security Strategy Moves On
Cyber War Crimes Will Be Prosecuted »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Navigating cloud security: The importance of posture management tools

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Navigating cloud security: The importance of posture management tools

Watch this webinar to see how cloud security posture management (CSPM) tools can fit into your cloud security strategy.

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout enables cyber security professionals to reduce cyber risk to their organization with proactive security solutions, providing immediate improvement in security posture and ROI.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

NordLayer

NordLayer

NordLayer is an adaptive network access security solution for modern businesses — from the world’s most trusted cybersecurity brand, Nord Security. 

AtkinsRéalis

AtkinsRéalis

AtkinsRealis is a market-leading design, engineering and project management consultancy operating in fields ranging from infrastructure, through energy and transport to cybersecurity.

Chertoff Group

Chertoff Group

The Chertoff Group provide security advice and risk management services covering cyber security, insider threat, physical security and asset protection.

Tufin

Tufin

Tufin enables organizations to automate their security policy visibility, risk management, provisioning and compliance across their multi-vendor, hybrid environment.

CyberArk Software

CyberArk Software

CyberArk is an established leader in privileged access management and offers the most complete set of Identity Security capabilities.

Certus Software

Certus Software

Our Secure Data Erasure solutions protect customer data confidentiality by completely erasing it from data storage devices.

C2A Security

C2A Security

C2A Security offers a comprehensive suite of cyber security solutions for the automotive industry, providing in-vehicle end-to-end protection.

AFNOR Group

AFNOR Group

AFNOR Group designs and deploys solutions based on voluntary standards around the world and provides services including training, professional and technical information, assessment and certification.

CyberSec Hub

CyberSec Hub

The goal of CyberSec Hub is to create a centre of excellence for cybersecurity in Krakow, a new European “Cyber-Silicon Valley”.

Cord3

Cord3

Cord3 delivers data protection, even from trusted administrators – or hackers posing as administrators – with high privilege.

xorlab

xorlab

xorlab is a Swiss cybersecurity company providing specialized, machine-intelligent defense against highly engineered, sophisticated and targeted email attacks.

SK Shieldus

SK Shieldus

SK shieldus are a converged security provider with business capabilities in both cybersecurity and physical security based on Big-Tech.

Material Security

Material Security

Material is solving one of the most fundamental problems in security: protecting the data sitting in mailboxes.

Trustifi

Trustifi

Trustifi leads the market with the easiest to use and deploy email security products, providing both inbound and outbound email security from a single vendor.

Fullstack Academy

Fullstack Academy

A trailblazer in bootcamp education, Fullstack Academy prepares students for fulfilling careers in tech through our NYC campus, online learning, and university partnerships.

AWARE7

AWARE7

IT security for human and machine. With the help of our products and services, we work with you to increase the IT security level of your organization.

Dion Training Solutions

Dion Training Solutions

Dion Training Solutions offer comprehensive training in areas such as project management, cybersecurity, agile methodologies, and IT service management.