1Adobe Flash Vulnerabilities, Ransomware on the Rise
by Sean Michael Kerner
2Ransomware 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.
3CTB-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.
4North 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.
5Adobe 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.
642 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.
7Exploit 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.
8New 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.
9Overall, 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.