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Conficker now the most common malware used to attack internet users

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December 1, 2015

For the month of October, statistics reveal that Conficker was the most common malware used to attack British and international organizations, accounting for a little over 20.1 percent of all attacks globally.

Internet security vendor Check Point says that when it first appeared in November 2008, the Windows-affecting Conficker worm caused several security issues mainly because of its ability to spread itself across networks, infect windows PCs and also brute force user passwords.

Overall, networks of the French Navy, the U.K. House of Commons and the Greater Manchester Police Department were all affected by the malware.

Its recent resurgence hasn’t caused anything like the same amounts of security issues as in 2008 but it still highlights the generally poor state of corporate security, not just in the U.K. but across the globe.

The return of the malware has seen the reported infection of police body cameras. Cameras from supplier Martel Electronics came pre-infected with the malware, according to researchers at Florida-based iPower.

Worldwide, three malware families (Conflicker, Sality and Cutwail) accounted for about 40 percent of all recorded attacks, revealing a trend for attacks focusing on gaining remote control of infected PCs, turning Windows machines into DDoS attackers and spam-spewing botnet drones.

Sality was first spotted in 2010 and Cutwail in 2007. The latest monthly stats from Check Point further disclose that the Neutrino Exploit virus has become the fourth most common malware detected globally in October 2015.

The exploit worm can be used to attack computers using Java, and is mostly associated with ransomware scams as well.

Overall, ransomware and data-stealing malware attacks rose sharply in October, according to Check Point. For example, the Fareit malware, which steals users’ credentials from web browsers and emails, jumped from a low position to become one of the top ten strains in October.

Check Point’s statistics are pulled from its Threat Cloud World Cyber Threat Map, and are updated every 60 to 90 days on average.

Source: Check Point.

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