IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Endpoints & encrypted connections top malware vectors - WatchGuard report

Thu 20 Jan 2022

New research from WatchGuard has found that malware is increasingly targeting endpoints more than perimeter, according to detections reported by customers’ Firebox appliances and the WatchGuard Intrusion Prevention Service (IPS).

WatchGuard chief security officer Corey Nachreiner says that network attacks decreased slightly in Q3 2021, however malware per device increased for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

WatchGuard says its IPS detected 4.1 million networks - a substantially high number, even though Q3’s figures were lower than in Q1.  WatchGuard suggests that attackers won’t forget about network attacks, but they may shift their focus slightly to focus on more targeted attacks.

Of those 4.1 million network attacks, most were already known, however, one new signature made an appearance:  ‘WEB Remote File Inclusion /etc/passwd’, which targets Windows, OS, Linux and other systems. It enables remote attackers to access system password files.

WatchGuard also reports that more than half of all malware is now delivered via encrypted connections. Malware using transport layer security (TLS) rose 47%. The company says many organisations are failing to decrypt these connections and have poor visibility into malware arriving through this vector. Zero-day malware accounted for 67.2% of all detections.

The top five encrypted malware connections include XML.JSSLoader (dropper malware), Tearspear (downloader malware), Mail.Stacked (extortion malware), HTML.Phishing (phishing malware), and Razy (a ransomware/botnet)

Endpoints are commonly subject to scripting attacks, which rose 666% over the year prior. WatchGuard says there are several ways criminals can attack endpoints, including application exploits and living-off-the-land scripting attacks.

The report notes, “In Q3 2021, we saw adversaries continue using scripts like PowerShell and JavaScript to start their malware attacks. In fact, in just the first three quarters of the year, the volume of malware at the endpoint that originated from a script in 2021 has already surpassed 2020’s total by over 10%.” 

Other scripting tools including Cobalt Strike and PowerSploit are also helping criminals with limited skills to conduct more attacks.

“Looking at the year so far as a whole, the security environment continues to be challenging. It’s important that organisations go beyond the short-term ups and downs and seasonality of specific metrics, and focus on persistent and concerning trends factoring into their security posture. An important example is the accelerating use of encrypted connections to deliver zero days,” notes Nachreiner.

Findings are from WatchGuard’s Q3 2021 Internet Security Report. Findings for the Q4 period are yet to be reported.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Women in Technology
Huawei webinar emphasises the importance of women in tech
Industry findings by Coursera discussed as part of a webinar jointly organised by Huawei and Reuters Events found 6% more women enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
Story image
CrescoData
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
Innovation
Fastly acquires Glitch, enables faster developer innovation
"This acquisition brings together two of the worlds best ecosystems for application development into a single, seamless developer experience."
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Infrastructure
Nutanix study reveals financial services sector lagging with multicloud adoption
Nutanix has released new research that reveals the financial services sector is lagging behind when it comes to multicloud adoption.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Wireless Nation
Wireless Nation, N4L provide 4G network to remote NZ schools
Wireless Nation and Network for Learning (N4L) have rolled out the Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) new 4G network to better connect three Chatham Islands schools.
Story image
Sustainability
Equinix announces milestones on sustainability commitments
Equinix has released its 2021 Sustainability Report which outlines progress, innovation and accomplishments on key ESG commitments.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Wireless
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare environments and care delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the healthcare industry while overcoming staff shortages, social distancing requirements, and lockdowns.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.