Check Point reveals Trickbot as the top malware and Apache Log4j the most exploited vulnerability

Check Point Research has published its latest Global Threat Index for December 2021. In a month that saw the Apache Log4j vulnerability sweep the internet, researchers reported that Trickbot is still the most prevalent malware in the UAE, affecting 8% of organizations in December 2021 as compared to 7% in November 2021.

The recently resurgent Emotet has swiftly risen from eighth position to second as it targets nearly 3% of the organisations in the UAE with close to 2% in November 2021. CPR also reveals that the most attacked industry continues to be Education/Research.

“The security landscape is becoming more complex and strenuous to determine. We recently witnessed Log4j, one of the most serious vulnerabilities we have ever encountered, and due to the complexity in patching it and its easiness to exploit, it is likely to stay with us for many years to come unless companies take immediate action to prevent attacks,” said Ram Narayanan, Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East.

Narayan added, “This month we have also seen the Emotet botnet move from the eighth most prevalent malware in the UAE to the second. As assumed, it did not take much time for Emotet to build a strong foundation since it reappeared in November. It is evasive and is spreading fast via phishing emails with malicious attachments or links. According to Check Point Software’s latest threat intelligence report, 84% of the malicious files in United Arab Emirates were delivered via email in the last 30 days. It is now more important than ever to have a robust email security solution in place and to ensure that users know how to identify suspicious looking messages or attachments.”

CPR revealed this month that Education/Research is the most attacked industry globally, followed by Government/Military and ISP/MSP. “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 48.3% of organizations globally, followed by “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which affects 43.8% of organizations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” remains in third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 41.5%.

Top malware families
This month, Trickbot is the most popular malware impacting almost 8% of organizations in the UAE, followed by Emotet with close to 3% and Formbook with an impact of 2%.
1. ↑ Trickbot – Trickbot is a modular Botnet and Banking Trojan constantly being updated with new capabilities, features and distribution vectors. This enables Trickbot to be a flexible and customizable malware that can be distributed as part of multi-purpose campaigns.
2. ↑ Emotet – Emotet is an advanced, self-propagating and modular Trojan. Emotet once used as a banking Trojan but recently is used as a distributer to other malware or malicious campaigns. It uses multiple methods for maintaining persistence and evasion techniques to avoid detection. In addition, it can spread through phishing spam emails containing malicious attachments or links.
3. ↓ Formbook – Formbook is an InfoStealer that harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to its C&C orders.