In its global Q3 IT Threat Evolution report, Kaspersky Lab has published the details of the key security incidents of the quarter. Using statistics from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), which obtains information from millions of Kaspersky Lab product users in 213 countries, the report sheds light on the increase in mobile threats, the attempted theft of money from online bank accounts and targeted cyberattacks in the evolving threat landscape.

 Mobile threats:

  • 323,374 new malicious mobile programmes were detected by Kaspersky Lab mobile security products in Q3. This is a 10.8% increase on Q2 2015 and a 3.1-fold increase since Q1 2015.
  • There were more than 1.5 million malicious packages installed on mobiles during the quarter, 1.5 times more than in the previous quarter.

Displaying adverts to users has remained the main method of making money from mobile threats. During the quarter, Kaspersky Lab observed a growing number of programmes that used advertising in this way. They often root the device of a victim and use superuser privileges, making it very difficult to combat them. In Q3 2015, these Trojans accounted for more than half of the most popular mobile malware.


Web-based financial attacks:

  • In Q3 2015, Kaspersky Lab’s solutions blocked almost 626,000 attempts to launch malware capable of stealing money via access to users’ online banking. This number is 17.2% lower than in the second quarter of the year, although it is a 5.7% increase since Q3 2014.
  • During the quarter, there were 5.68 million notifications about attempted malware infections to steal money from users via online access to bank accounts.

In Q3 2015, users in Austria were attacked by banking Trojans more than any other region – 5% of all Kaspersky Lab users in Austria faced this threat during the quarter. Singapore, last quarter’s leader, was moved to second place (4.2%) and 3% of users in Turkey were under threat (third).

Most of the countries in the top 10 have significant numbers of online banking users, attracting cybercriminals. Of the malware used to target online banking users, Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Upatre was the most prevalent, being used in 63.1% of attacks in an attempt to steal users’ payment details.


Targeted cyberattacks:

In Q3, the Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) researched a number of sophisticated cyberespionage campaigns. Amongst others, these included investigating the Turla group, which makes use of satellite communications to manage its command-and-control servers’ traffic for subsequent operations, the Darkhotel APT, which infiltrates hotel Wi-Fi networks to place backdoors on target computers, and the Blue Termite APT, which focuses on stealing information from organisations in Japan. Kaspersky Lab also worked on a joint investigation with the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) and Panda Security, resulting in the arrest of two suspects, who are believed to be involved in the CoinVault ransomware attacks.

“The developments in Q3 demonstrate that the global threat landscape is continuing to evolve at a fast pace. With 5.6 million cases of attempted theft from online bank accounts, and cybercriminals continually developing sophisticated attacks, the use of high quality cybersecurity products has never been more important. It’s vital that all those using the Internet – both individuals and organisations – protect themselves from these growing threats,” says David Emm, Principal Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis team.


Q3 in figures:

  • According to KSN data, Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled a total of 235.4 million malicious attacks from online resources located all over the world. This is 38% lower than in Q2.
  • 4 million unique URLs were recognised as malicious by web antivirus components. This is 16% higher than in Q2.
  • Kaspersky Lab’s web antivirus detected 38.2 million unique malicious objects: scripts, exploits, executable files, etc. This is 46.9% higher than in Q2.
  • There were 5.68 million registered notifications about attempted malware infections that aim to steal money via online access to bank accounts.
  • Kaspersky Lab’s file antivirus detected a total of 145 million unique malicious and potentially unwanted objects.
  • Kaspersky Lab mobile security products detected:
    • 6 million malicious installation packages;
    • 323,374 new malicious mobile programmes;
    • 2516 mobile banker Trojans.

The overall trend so far for 2015 has continued in Q3: exploits for Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer are most popular with cybercriminals.

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