Australia recorded the second highest number of ransomware detections worldwide in Q1 this year, with 6 per cent of total detections, and ranked third in the world for the highest number of users who clicked malicious URLs throughout the quarter (5 per cent), according to Trend Micro’s Q1 threat roundup report.
The report also found that the number of ransomware infections that occurred in Australia and New Zealand in Q1 jumped from 16 per cent to 28 per cent for enterprises since the previous quarter, and small businesses from 6 per cent to 14 per cent.
Types of threats
The threats were made up of combination of new and old threat variations. Users from Australia and New Zealand fell victim to Crypto-ransomware attacks, with infection counts quadrupling from 1,540 in Q1 2014 to 7,844 in Q1 2015. Crypto-ransomware infections make up almost half (49%) of the total ransomware volume found as of last quarter
Old threats have been invigorated with new targeted attack tools, tactics and procedures. There has been a resurgence of macro-malware, with 5 per cent of the world’s macro-malware detected in Australia in Q1 2015. The FREAK flaw also posed further security challenges as it presented more vulnerabilities in open source operating systems and applications.
No industry exempt
“Ransomware is very much top of mind for IT managers in Australia and New Zealand as we see fresh campaigns from cyber-criminals regularly,” said Dhanya Thakkar, managing director at Trend Micro Asia Pacific.
“Even though we are early in the year, it is clear 2015 is shaping up to be noteworthy in terms of volume, ingenuity and sophistication of attacks.”
“While we need to constantly update our systems to protect against new attacks, the first quarter of 2015 clearly showed we need to also watch out for older threats, and how no industry or system should feel exempt.”