McAfee today released its McAfee COVID-19 Threat Report: July 2020 examining cybercriminal activity related to COVID-19 and the evolution of cyber threats in Q1 2020. McAfee Labs saw an average of 375 new threats per minute and a surge of cybercriminals exploiting the pandemic through COVID-19 themed malicious apps, phishing campaigns, malware, and more. New PowerShell malware increased 688% over the course of the quarter while total malware grew 1,902% over the past four quarters. Disclosed incidents targeting the public sector, individuals, education and manufacturing increased; nearly 47% of all publicly disclosed security incidents took place in the United States.
McAfee researchers found it is typical of COVID-19 campaigns to use pandemic-related subjects including testing, treatments, cures, and remote work topics to lure targets into clicking on a malicious link, download a file, or view a PDF.
Highlights of Q1 2020 threats activity:
• Malware overall. New malware samples slowed by 35%; total malware increased 27% over the past four quarters. New Mac OS malware samples increased by 51%.
• Mobile malware. New mobile malware increased by 71%, with total malware growing nearly 12% over the past four quarters.
• Regional Targets. Disclosed incidents targeting the Americas increased by 60%, incidents targeting Asia-Pacific increased 27%, while Europe decreased 7%.
• Security incidents. McAfee Labs counted 458 publicly disclosed security incidents, an increase of 41% from Q4. 50% of all publicly disclosed security incidents took place in North America, followed by 9% in Europe. Nearly 47% of all publicly disclosed security incidents took place in the United States.
• Vertical industry targets. Disclosed incidents targeting the public sector increased 73% individuals increased 59%, education increased 33%, and manufacturing increased by 44%.
• Attack vectors. Overall, malware led disclosed attack vectors, followed by account hijacking and targeted attacks.
• Cryptomining. New coinmining malware increased by 26%. Total coinmining malware samples increased by nearly 97% over the past four quarters.
• IoT. New malware samples increased by nearly 58%; total IoT malware grew 82% over the past four quarters.