McAfee released its McAfee Labs Threats Report: September 2017, which examines the rise of script-based malware, suggests five proven threat hunting best practices, provides an analysis of the recent WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks, assesses reported attacks across industries, and reveals growth trends in malware, ransomware, mobile malware, and other threats in Q2 2017. McAfee Labs saw healthcare surpass public sector to report the greatest number of security incidents in Q2, while the Faceliker Trojan helped drive quarter’s 67% increase in new malware samples from the social media landscape.
The second quarter of 2017 saw Facebook emerge as a notable attack vector, with Faceliker accounting for as much as 8.9% of the quarter’s 52 million newly detected malware samples. This Trojan infects a user’s browser when she visits malicious or compromised websites. It then hijacks her Facebook “likes” and promotes the content without her knowledge or permission. Doing so at scale can earn money for the malicious parties behind Faceliker given the hijacked clicks can make a news article, video, website or ad appear more popular or trusted than it truly is.
“Faceliker leverages and manipulates the social media and app based communications we increasingly use today,” said Vincent Weafer, Vice President for McAfee Labs. “By making apps or news articles appear more popular, accepted and legitimate among friends, unknown actors can covertly influence the way we perceive value and even truth. As long as there is profit in such efforts, we should expect to see more such schemes in the future.”
McAfee Labs’ quarterly analysis of publicly disclosed security incidents found public sector to be the most impacted North American sector over the last six quarters, but healthcare overtook it in Q2 with 26% of incidents. While overall healthcare data breaches are most likely the result of accidental disclosures and human error, cyberattacks on the sector continue to increase. The trend began the first quarter of 2016 when numerous hospitals around the world sustained ransomware attacks. The attacks paralyzed several departments and, in some cases, the hospitals had to transfer patients and postpone surgeries.
“Whether physical or digital, data breaches in healthcare highlight the value of the sensitive personal information organizations in the sector possess,” Weafer continued. “They also reinforce the need for stronger corporate security policies that work to ensure the safe handling of that information.”
Q2 2017 Threat Activity
In the second quarter of 2017, the McAfee Labs Global Threat Intelligence network registered notable trends in cyber threat growth and cyberattack incidents across industries:
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