In the second quarter of the year, more than 400 new cyberthreats were recorded every minute, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm McAfee.
Overall, new malware samples grew by 11.5 percent for the period, and PowerShell malware and Covid-19-themed attacks dominated the landscape.
Malicious Donoff Office document attacks propelled new PowerShell malware upwards by 117 percent. The documents behave as TrojanDownloaders by using Windows Command to launch PowerShell, which then downloads and executes malicious files.
McAfee claims Donoff also played a “critical role” in driving the 689 percent surge in PowerShell malware in the quarter prior to this one.
Covid-19 was another popular theme among cybercriminals in the second quarter of the year. McAfee's network, which boasts more than a billion sensors, registered a 605 percent increase in Covid-19-related attacks compared to Q1.
“What began as a trickle of phishing campaigns and the occasional malicious app quickly turned into a deluge of malicious URLs, attacks on cloud users and capable threat actors leveraging the world’s thirst for more information on Covid-19 as an entry mechanism into systems across the globe,” said Raj Samani, McAfee Fellow and Chief Scientist.
McAfee also said there were almost 7.5 million external attacks on cloud user accounts in the quarter. According to the firm, all major industries were affected, including financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, retail, technology and more.