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Malware exploit threats reach hit new high

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Malware threats have reached dangerously high levels, according to a new report that highlights the sheer scale of threats facing businesses today.

The latest Kaspersky Lab Malware report, covering the three months of Q2 2017, claims that Kaspersky Lab's products blocked more than five million attacks involving exploits in this time period.

In total, Kaspersky's products detected and repelled 342,566,061 malicious attacks from online resources located in 191 countries, with 17.26 per cent of all Internet-connected computers in the world facing at least one attack.

This included a rise in crypto-ransomware attacks, which were blocked on 246,675 unique computers, compared to 240,799 computers in Q1, along with an increase in attempted infections by money-stealing malware that attacks online access to bank accounts, which were discovered on 224,675 user computers, compared to 288,000 user computers in Q1.

Kaspersky Lab says that this quarter's huge wave of attacks was helped by several major exploits being leaked online, most notably the publication of the “Lost In Translation” archive by notorious group the Shadow Brokers, which contained a large number of exploits for different versions of Windows including the the CVE-2017-0199 vulnerability in Microsoft Office, discovered in early April, which affected 1.5 million PCs at its peak.

Exploit kits concern any malware that looks to take advantage of bugs in software to infect devices, and can include ransomware, banking Trojans or spyware.

“The threat landscape of Q2 provides yet another reminder that a lack of vigilance is one of the most significant cyber dangers. While vendors patch vulnerabilities on a regular basis, many users don’t pay attention to this, which results in massive-scale attacks once the vulnerabilities are exposed to the broad cybercriminal community,” notes Alexander Liskin, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

The company is now advising users to keep their PCs updated, and perform regular security checks in order to ensure that they don't fall victim to any future attacks.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is News and Features Editor working across both ITProPortal and TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, including spells at one of the UK's leading national newspapers. He is interested in hearing about all the latest news and developments across the Business IT world, and how companies are using new technology to help push forward their work and make their customer's lives easier.