Malware continued its inexorable rise in October with the number of attacks increasing 5% over the previous month, although UK and US users appeared to be insulated from the worst, according to new stats from Check Point.
The vendor’s Global Threat Index also revealed a 5% increase in active malware families, highlighting the constantly evolving threat landscape.
However, it was ransomware that once again proved to be among the most prolific category of malicious software, rising 13% compared with August.
That may have been driven in part by the prevalence of Locky, which was rated the second most successful piece of malware, responsible for 5% of global attacks spotted by Check Point.
Although Locky itself is a fairly unremarkable piece of malware, those behind it have apparently spent a lot of time changing the structure of the emails and file types carrying it in order to maximize the number of machines it can infect.
Notorious banking trojan Zeus appears to be back in the game too, also accounting for 5% of global attacks.
But remarkably it was old-timer Conficker that held on to number one spot – representing 17% of global recognized attacks, Check Point said.
The firm’s head of threat prevention, Nathan Shuchami, claimed the stats show organizations are under tremendous pressure to stay secure.
“The fact the top ten malware remained virtually the same as September suggests that cyber-criminals have enjoyed a considerable amount of success with these attack methods, signalling to organizations that they need to proactively respond to protect their critical business assets,” he added.
“It is particularly concerning that a malware family as established and well known as Conficker is so effective, suggesting that organizations aren’t using the latest, multi-layered defenses.”
In slightly better news, the UK dropped from 53rd to 81st “most attacked country” – slightly above the US (84th) and Germany (88th) but below France (74th).