The “attenuation” of the coronavirus “In the first four months of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic was still the number one topic of global news. However, it has become significantly less visible in the landscape of virtual threats, “said Roman Kov, principal investigator at ESET. “Fortunately,” but, as our report shows, we continue to see alarming examples of cybercriminals abusing trends in user configuration vulnerabilities and flaws. The focus is on achieving the highest possible return on investment, ”he says.
The number of malicious programs targeting users of Android banking platforms increased by a whopping 158.7% in the first four months of 2021, compared to the last third of the previous year. Over the same period, there was a 59.6% increase in remote desktop (RDP) attack attempts globally. Cryptocurrency threats increased by 18.6%. This is shown by the conclusions of the latest report of the security company ESET. The new report summarizes key statistics from the company’s malware detection systems and highlights remarkable examples of cybersecurity research conducted by the company’s scientists. ESET Research publishes its reports on its observations in the world of virtual threats once every four months. The abbreviation T1 describes the third from January to April, T2 – the period from May to August, and T3 – from September to December. “These activities include continuing abuses of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It remains the main target of brutal attacks, the increasing number of cryptocurrency threats and the sharp rise in the detection of malware for Android, “added Kov.
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Exchange – a telling story The leading story in the report is about a “vulnerability chain” that allows a hacker to take control of any available Exchange server. These are four critical vulnerabilities in MS Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Server 2016, and Exchange Server 2019. There are millions of users – from large corporate giants to small and medium enterprises around the world.
The attack has become a global crisis. Used together in a chain attack, these vulnerabilities lead to remote code execution, server hijacking, data theft, and potentially “deployment” of more malware. Microsoft initially announced that the attacks were tracked and were the work of Hafnium, a state-sponsored hacker group from China. They describe the group as “an attacker with high skills and complexity of attacks”. However, ESET researchers have identified more than 10 different criminal actors or criminal groups that may have used this chain of vulnerability.
Kobalos – serious work ESET researchers have also uncovered the Kobalos malware, which attacks high-performance computer clusters and other high-profile targets. Kobalos was discovered in January and is a malware for Linux that attacks high-performance computing clusters and supercomputers running multiple operating systems. Kobalos functions primarily as a backdoor and is designed to steal SSH credentials – Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell – a cryptographic network protocol to provide secure remote access even over unsecured networks.
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