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Evasive malware grows to record highs

(Image credit: Photo Credit: andriano.cz/Shutterstock)

Evasive malware is “becoming a rule, not the exception”, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm WatchGuard Technologies.

Based on malware strains detected by its Firebox security appliances during the fourth quarter of 2019, the report states more than two-thirds of malware attacks evade signature-based antivirus tools.

Attacks of this kind rose 35 percent year-on-year, which the report suggests represents a “dramatic increase”.

For Corey Nachreiner, WatchGuard’s CTO, this is a signal to businesses to start investing in multi-layered security solutions.

“Advanced AI or behavioural-based anti-malware technology and robust phishing protection like DNS filtering will be especially crucial,” he said.

The report also claims that phishing campaigns exploiting a three-year-old Excel vulnerability are widespread. This “dropper” exploit was the seventh largest across the quarter, targeting victims in the UK, Germany and New Zealand. Once it infects a machine, it downloads multiple forms of malware, including the infamous Agent Tesla keylogger.

Further, adware for Macs became even more popular at the end of last year and SQL injections spiked 8000 percent year-on-year.