A new report by McAfee revealed that cybercriminal activity related to malware and cyber threats has continued to rise in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.
Indeed, in Q4, it was noted that there was an average of 648 threats per minute, which makes an increase of 10% compared to Q3. The study also showed that COVID-19-related cyber-attack rose by 240% in Q3 and 114% in Q4.
With most employees working from home, cybercriminals used this opportunity to launch COVID-19-themed attacks, profiting from the vulnerabilities of remote devices and bandwidth security.
Hence, cyberattacks kept on increasing all throughout 2020, leading to more sophisticated techniques. Powershell threats grew 208% in Q4, with most of them using Process Injection to insert code into legitimate running processes as a privilege escalation technique. Mobile malware also increased by 118% in Q4, mainly due to a surge in SMS Reg samples. Ransomware attacks have grown 69% in Q4 while MacOS malware rose immensely in Q3 420% due to EvilQuest ransomware.
Besides, the study reported a 100% increase in cyber incidents targeting the technology sector during Q4., as well as an increase of 93% in incidents in the public sector. It was also stated that malware was the most important cause of security incidents in Q4 followed by account hijackings, targeted attacks, and vulnerabilities.