Trend Micro: Malware on the rise across NZ

“Our findings confirm that we are battling rapidly moving cyber-criminals and evolving vulnerabilities simultaneously."

Malware continues to be a threat across New Zealand, with 2014 seeing a steady rise in the number of malware detections at more than 1.7 million malware detections in the third quarter.

Rising from 1.3 million in Q2 and 1.2 million malware detections in Q1, Trend Micro’s Q3 security roundup report highlights that malicious links have almost stabilised across the country throughout the quarter, with more than 3.3 million malicious URLs clicked in Q3, down slightly from Q2 but up from 2.3 million in Q1.

The third quarter of 2014 also saw a significant event with the new critical vulnerability, known as Shellshock, that threatened more than half a billion servers and devices worldwide.

“Our findings confirm that we are battling rapidly moving cyber-criminals and evolving vulnerabilities simultaneously,” says Jon Oliver, Senior Software Design Architect, Trend Micro A/NZ.

“With this fluidity, it’s time to embrace the fact that compromises will continue, and we shouldn’t be alarmed or surprised when they occur.

“Preparation is key and as an industry we must better educate organisations and consumers about heightened risks as attacks grow in volume and in sophistication.

“Understanding that cyber-criminals are finding vulnerabilities and potential loopholes in every device and platform possible will help us confront these challenges so technology can be used in a positive way.”

In an effort to steal credit card information and money, the report also reveals that threat actors are targeting large retailers’ Point-of-Sale (PoS) systems to execute massive data breaches.

Trend Micro believes this ongoing practice further indicates that PoS networks are highly accessible and vulnerable with cyber thieves also utilising updated versions of older versions of popular malware and online banking malware to successfully target victims.

“This Q3 report is a clear indication that New Zealand consumers still need to be educated about their online vulnerability, especially as cyber threats become more complex,” adds Tim Falinski, Director, Consumer A/NZ, Trend Micro.

“With the report revealing an increase in cyber-criminals targeting retailers’ point-of-sale systems, consumers need to be extra vigilant heading into the holiday shopping season and new year sales, which is typically a time of year that sees an increase in cybercrime.”

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