As we wrap up 2023, we want to express our sincere thanks for your steadfast support. Starting this December, we're shaking things up with our monthly reports, giving the Bitdefender Threat Debrief a fresh twist. In 2024, you'll notice a change – our insightful Bitdefender MDR team won't be sharing their regular tidbits. No worries, though; they're still behind the scenes, working their cybersecurity magic. Keep an eye out for the gradual rollout of our updated format throughout the coming year. Thanks for your trust in 2023, and here's to a secure and thriving 2024!
Spear phishing attacks are often used as an initial attack vector and ransomware infection is often the final stage of the kill chain. For this report, we analyzed malware detections collected in November 2023 from our static anti-malware engines. Note: we only count total cases, not how monetarily significant the impact of infection is. Opportunistic adversaries and some Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) groups represent a higher percentage compared to groups that are more selective about their targets since they prefer volume over higher value.
When looking at this data, remember these are ransomware detections, not infections.
We analyzed malware detections from November 1 to November 30. In total, we identified 258 ransomware families. The number of detected ransomware families can vary each month, depending on the current ransomware campaigns in different countries.
In total, we detected ransomware from 143 countries in our dataset this month. Ransomware continues to be a threat that touches almost the entire world. Below is a list of the top 10 countries most impacted by ransomware. Many ransomware attacks continue to be opportunistic, and the size of a population is correlated to the number of detections.
Below are the top 10 trojans targeting Android we have seen in our telemetry during November 2023.
SpyAgent.JA – Malware that collects personal data like user messages and contacts, allowing access to the compromised device's camera and microphone. This enables malicious individuals to secretly monitor infected users.
Agent.AXC - Applications that exfiltrate sensitive data like SMS messages, call logs, contacts, or GPS location.
Downloader.DN – Repacked applications taken from the Google App Store and bundled with aggressive adware. Some adware downloads other malware variants.
SMSSend.AYE - Malware that tries to register as the default SMS application on the first run by requesting the consent of the user. If successful, it collects the user's incoming and outgoing messages and forwards them to a Command & Control (C&C) server.
Banker.XO - Polymorphic applications that impersonate legit apps (Google, Facebook, Sagawa Express ...). Once installed, it locates banking applications installed on the device and tries to download a trojanized version from the C&C server.
Marcher.AR - Applications that disguise themselves as Play Store applications. The malware tries to ask for accessibility permissions to capture keystrokes and also uses the VNC screen recording function to log the user’s activity on the phone.
SMSSend.AZI - Detect backdoor applications that execute malicious commands, enabling the theft of data from infected systems. These backdoors also can send SMS messages, potentially enabling SMiShing, or texting premium numbers to generate revenue via SMS fees.
Triada.LD - Malware that gathers sensitive device info (Device IDs, Subscriber IDs, MAC addresses) and then sends it to a C&C server. The C&C server responds by sending back a link to a payload, that malware will download and execute.
Agent.gQNUS – Identify repackaged applications characterized by extensive obfuscation, which in turn, displays disruptive advertisements.
Banker.YM - Applications that drop and install encrypted modules. This trojan grants device admin privileges, and gains access to manage phone calls and text messages. After deploying, it maintains a connection with the C&C server to receive command and upload sensitive information.
Homograph attacks work to abuse international domain names (IDN). Threat actors create international domain names that spoof a target domain name. When we talk about the “target” of IDN homograph phishing attacks, we refer to the domain that threat actors are trying to impersonate. You can read more about this type of attack in one of our previous reports.
Below is the list of the top 10 most common targets for phishing sites.
The Bitdefender Threat Debrief (BDTD) is a monthly series analyzing threat news, trends, and research from the previous month. Don’t miss the next BDTD release, subscribe to the Business Insights blog, and follow us on Twitter. You can find all previous debriefs here.
Bitdefender provides cybersecurity solutions and advanced threat protection to hundreds of millions of endpoints worldwide. More than 150 technology brands have licensed and added Bitdefender technology to their product or service offerings. This vast OEM ecosystem complements telemetry data already collected from our business and consumer solutions. To give you some idea of the scale, Bitdefender Labs discover 400+ new threats each minute and validate 30 billion threat queries daily. This gives us one of the industry’s most extensive real-time views of the evolving threat landscape.
We would like to thank bitdefenders Alin Damian, Mihai Leonte, Justin Mills, Andrei Mogage, Sean Nikkel, Nikki Salas, Rares Radu, Ioan Stan, Marius Tivadar, and Horia Zegheru (sorted alphabetically) for their help with putting this report together.
Bitdefender is a cybersecurity leader delivering best-in-class threat prevention, detection, and response solutions worldwide. Guardian over millions of consumer, enterprise, and government environments, Bitdefender is one of the industry’s most trusted experts for eliminating threats, protecting privacy, digital identity and data, and enabling cyber resilience. With deep investments in research and development, Bitdefender Labs discovers hundreds of new threats each minute and validates billions of threat queries daily. The company has pioneered breakthrough innovations in antimalware, IoT security, behavioral analytics, and artificial intelligence and its technology is licensed by more than 180 of the world’s most recognized technology brands. Founded in 2001, Bitdefender has customers in 170+ countries with offices around the world.View all posts
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