Roughted remains the top malware in Africa to watch out for

Roughted remains the top malware in Africa to watch out for

Roughted remains the top malware in Africa
(Image source: Business Advice UK)

Check Point Software has revealed that banking Trojans were extensively used by cyber-criminals during August 2017, with three variants appearing in the company’s latest Global Threat Impact Index.

The Zeus, Ramnit and Trickbot banking trojans all appeared in the top ten. These Trojans work by identifying when the victim is visiting a banking website, and then use keylogging or webinjects to harvest basic login credentials or more sensitive information such as PIN numbers. Alternatively, Trojans may also direct victims to fake banking websites designed to mimic the legitimate ones and steal credentials that way.

The August 2017 Global Threat Impact Index also revealed that Globeimposter, a ransomware disguised as a variant of the Globe ransomware, was the world’s second most prevalent malware throughout the month. Although it was discovered in May 2017, the malware did not begin to rapidly proliferate until August, distributed by spam campaigns, malvertising and exploit kits. Upon encryption, Globeimposter appends the .crypt extension to each encrypted file, and a payment is demanded from victims in return for decrypting their valuable data.

“Financial gain is the major motive for the vast majority of cybercrime, and unfortunately criminals have a wide range of tools at their disposal to achieve this,” said Doros Hadjizenonos, Country Manager of Check Point South Africa. “To see both a highly effective ransomware variant and a range of banking Trojans in the top ten most prevalent malware families really underlines how tenacious and sophisticated malicious hackers can be in their attempts to extort money. Organisations need to be both vigilant and proactive in order to protect their networks.”

Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ Malware in South Africa:
South Africa jumped a considerable 11 places in the Threat Impact Index over the past month, now sitting at number 21 on the list out of all countries worldwide.

1. Roughted – Large-scale Malvertising used to deliver various malicious websites and payloads such as scams, adware, exploit kits and ransomware. It can be used to attack any type of platform and operating system, and utilises ad-blocker, bypassing and fingerprinting in order to make sure it delivers the most relevant attack.

2. Fireball – Adware vastly distributed by the Chinese digital marketing company Rafotech. It acts as a browser-hijacker which changes the default search engine and installs tracking pixels, but can be turned into a full-functioning malware downloader. Fireball is capable of executing any code on the victim machines, resulting in a wide range of actions from stealing credentials to dropping additional malware.

3. Globeimposter – Ransomware disguised as a variant of the Globe ransomware. It was discovered in May 2017, and is distributed by spam campaigns, malvertising and exploit kits. Upon encryption, the ransomware appends the .crypt extension to each encrypted file.

Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ Malware in Kenya:
Kenya’s risk ranking improved, dropping 13 places on the Global ranking in August, moving down to number 39 on the list.

1. Roughted – Large-scale Malvertising used to deliver various malicious websites and payloads such as scams, adware, exploit kits and ransomware. It can be used to attack any type of platform and operating system, and utilises ad-blocker, bypassing and fingerprinting in order to make sure it delivers the most relevant attack.

2. Fireball – Adware vastly distributed by the Chinese digital marketing company Rafotech. It acts as a browser-hijacker which changes the default search engine and installs tracking pixels, but can be turned into a full-functioning malware downloader. Fireball is capable of executing any code on the victim machines, resulting in a wide range of actions from stealing credentials to dropping additional malware.

3. Virut – One of the major botnets and malware distributors in the Internet. It is used in DDoS attacks, spam distribution, data theft and fraud. The malware is spread through executables originating from infected devices such as USB sticks as well as compromised websites and attempts to infect any file accesses with the extensions .exe or .scr. Virut alters the local host files and opens a backdoor by joining an IRC channel controlled by a remote attacker.

Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ Malware in Nigeria:
Nigeria remains amongst the top ten countries at highest risk of cyberattack, currently sitting at number nine on the list after having climbed one position from last month.

1. Roughted – Large-scale Malvertising used to deliver various malicious websites and payloads such as scams, adware, exploit kits and ransomware. It can be used to attack any type of platform and operating system, and utilises ad-blocker, bypassing and fingerprinting in order to make sure it delivers the most relevant attack.

2. Virut – One of the major botnets and malware distributors on the Internet. It is used in DDoS attacks, spam distribution, data theft and fraud. The malware is spread through executables originating from infected devices such as USB sticks as well as compromised websites and attempts to infect any file accesses with the extensions .exe or .scr. Virut alters the local host files and opens a backdoor by joining an IRC channel controlled by a remote attacker.

3. Fireball – Adware vastly distributed by the Chinese digital marketing company Rafotech. It acts as a browser-hijacker which changes the default search engine and installs tracking pixels, but can be turned into a full-functioning malware downloader. Fireball is capable of executing any code on the victim machines, resulting in a wide range of actions from stealing credentials to dropping additional malware.

The August 2017 Threat Index shows just how diverse and dynamic the cyber threat landscape is. Just a few months ago, Hummingbad was incredibly dominant; however, in August 2017 it did not even make it into the top ten. Similarly, ransomware has been grabbing most of the cybersecurity headlines, yet well-established banking Trojans are on the rise again.

“It’s vital for organisations to be alert to these shifting threats, to simultaneously keep their defences up against well-known malware families, new variants and new zero-day threats,” added Hadjizenonos. “This requires a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy, which can respond to a broad range of continually evolving attack types.”

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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