Research announces February 2019’s most wanted malware

Check Point Research, a provider of cyber security solutions globally, has published its latest Global Threat Index for February 2019. The index reveals that, despite shutting down on March 8th, 2019, Coinhive has once again led the Global Threat Index, marking the 15th consecutive month at the top of the list.

Check Point researchers have also discovered several campaigns distributing the GandCrab ransomware that have targeted Japan, Germany, Canada, and Australia, among others. These operations have emerged over the last two months, and Check Point’s researchers noticed a new version of the ransomware is distributed in one of the latest campaigns. The new version, Gandcrab V5.2, includes most of the features of the last, but with a change in the encryption method that renders the decryption tool ineffective.

In February, the most prevalent malware variants were cryptominers. Coinhive remains the top malware impacting 10% of organizations worldwide. This follows a downward trend in Coinhive’s global impact, from 18% in October 2018 to 12% in January 2019, and now with a 2% drop this month. This decrease has been caused by the rising cost of mining along with the decline in Monero’s value. Cryptoloot rose to second place in February replacing XMRig and was followed by Emotet, an advanced, self-propagate, and modular Trojan, which replaced Jsecoin in third place in the index.

February 2019’s Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ Malware: 

  1. ↔ Coinhive – Crypto Miner designed to perform online mining of Monero cryptocurrency when a user visits a web page without the user’s knowledge or approval the profits with the user. The implanted JavaScript uses a great deal of the computational resources of end users’ machines to mine coins and may crash the system.
  2.  Cryptoloot – Crypto-Miner that uses the victim’s CPU or GPU power and existing resources for crypto mining – adding transactions to the blockchain and releasing new currency. It is a competitor to Coinhive, trying to pull the rug under it by asking a smaller percentage of revenue from websites.
  3. ↑ Emotet – Advanced, self-propagate and modular Trojan. Emotet once used to employ as a banking Trojan and recently is used as a distributor 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.

Note: *The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month.

Research announces February 2019’s most wanted malwareFebruary’s Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ Mobile Malware:

  1. Lotoor– Hack tool that exploits vulnerabilities on Android operating system in order to gain root privileges on compromised mobile devices.
  2. Hiddad – Android malware which repackages legitimate apps and then released them to a third-party store. Its main function is displaying ads, however, it is also able to gain access to key security details built into the OS, allowing an attacker to obtain sensitive user data.
  3. Triada – Modular Backdoor for Android which grants superuser privileges to downloaded malware, as helps it to get embedded into system processes. Triada has also been seen spoofing URLs loaded in the browser.

Check Point’s researchers also analyzed the most exploited cyber vulnerabilities. CVE-2017-7269 is still leading the top exploited vulnerabilities with 45%. OpenSSL TLS DTLS Heartbeat Information Disclosure is the second most prevalent vulnerability with a global impact of 40%, followed by Web servers PHPMyAdmin Misconfiguration Code Injection exploit, impacting 34% of organizations worldwide.

February’s Top 3 ‘Most Exploited’ vulnerabilities:

  • ↔ Microsoft IIS WebDAV ScStoragePathFromUrl Buffer Overflow (CVE-2017-7269) – By sending a crafted request over a network to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 through Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0, a remote attacker could execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service conditions on the target server. That is mainly due to a buffer overflow vulnerability resulted by improper validation of a long header in HTTP request.
  • ↑ OpenSSL TLS DTLS Heartbeat Information Disclosure (CVE-2014-0160; CVE-2014-0346) – An information disclosure vulnerability exists in OpenSSL. The vulnerability is due to an error when handling TLS/DTLS heartbeat packets. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability to disclose memory contents of a connected client or server.
  • ↑ Web servers PHPMyAdmin Misconfiguration Code Injection – A code injection vulnerability has been reported in PHPMyAdmin. The vulnerability is due to PHPMyAdmin misconfiguration. A remote attacker can exploit this vulnerability by sending a specially crafted HTTP request to the target.

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