Adobe Flash Vulnerabilities, Ransomware on the Rise

1 - Adobe Flash Vulnerabilities, Ransomware on the Rise
2 - Ransomware Grows by 165 Percent
3 - CTB-Locker Takes Off in the First Quarter
4 - North America Is the Prime Target for CTB-Locker
5 - Adobe Flash Malware on the Rise
6 - 42 New CVEs Disclosed for Flash in 1Q15
7 - Exploit Kits Shift to Flash
8 - New Mobile Malware Spikes by 49 Percent
9 - Overall, New Malware Volume Declined in 1Q15
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Adobe Flash Vulnerabilities, Ransomware on the Rise

by Sean Michael Kerner

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Ransomware Grows by 165 Percent

Malware that locks a user's system until a fee, or "ransom," is paid is known as ransomware, and it's a growing trend. In the first quarter of 2015, McAfee Labs detected more new ransomware samples than ever before.

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CTB-Locker Takes Off in the First Quarter

One of the primary drivers for the spike in new ransomware samples in the first quarter is the emergence of the Curve-Tor-Bitcoin Locker (CTB-Locker) ransomware family.

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North America Is the Prime Target for CTB-Locker

While ransomware remains a global problem, McAfee Labs found that half of CTB-Locker victims were located in North America.

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Adobe Flash Malware on the Rise

McAfee Labs reported a 317 percent quarterly increase in new malicious Flash file samples, which was driven in part by a rise in publicly disclosed Flash vulnerabilities.

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42 New CVEs Disclosed for Flash in 1Q15

There were 42 new Flash Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) disclosed in the first quarter of 2015, a 50 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2014.

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Exploit Kits Shift to Flash

All of the new Flash issues have led to a corresponding increase in the use of Flash vulnerabilities inside of exploit kits.

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New Mobile Malware Spikes by 49 Percent

In the first quarter of 2015, there was also a marked increase in new mobile malware samples detected by McAfee Labs. Forty-nine percent more mobile malware was detected in the first quarter of 2015 than in the previous quarter.

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Overall, New Malware Volume Declined in 1Q15

While new ransomware, Flash and mobile malware volumes were up, McAfee Labs reported a marginal decline in the overall new malware volume detected in the first quarter of 2015. McAfee noted that there had been a fourth-quarter 2014 spike in the SoftPulse adware, which returned to normal levels in the first quarter.

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