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2021 Press Releases

November 12, 2021

October 2021’s Most Wanted Malware: Trickbot Takes Top Spot for The 5th Time This Year

Check Point Research reveals that Trickbot is the most prevalent malware and a new vulnerability in Apache is one of the most exploited vulnerabilities worldwide. Education and Research top the target list for hackers

Check Point Research's latest Global Threat Index for October 2021 reveals that the modular botnet and banking trojan, Trickbot, remains at the top of the most prevalent malware list, affecting 4% of organisations worldwide, while “Apache HTTP Server Directory Traversal” has entered the top ten list of exploited vulnerabilities. We also revealed this month that the most attacked industry globally is Education/Research. 

Trickbot can steal financial details, account credentials, and personally identifiable information, as well as spread laterally within a network and drop ransomware. Since the Emotet takedown in January, Trickbot has featured at the top of the most prevalent malware list five times. It is constantly being updated with new capabilities, features and distribution vectors which enables it to be a flexible and customisable malware that can be distributed as part of multi-purpose campaigns.  

A new vulnerability, "Apache HTTP Server Directory Traversal", has entered the top ten list of exploited vulnerabilities for October, in tenth place. When it was first discovered, developers of Apache released fixes for CVE-2021-41773 in Apache HTTP Server 2.4.50. However, the patch was found to be insufficient, and a directory traversal vulnerability still exists in Apache HTTP Server. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to access arbitrary files on the affected system.

The Apache vulnerability only came to light early in October and is already one of the top ten most exploited vulnerabilities worldwide, showing how fast attackers move. This vulnerability can lead threat actors to map URLs to files outside the expected document root by launching a path traversal attack. It’s imperative that Apache users have appropriate protection technologies in place. This month, Trickbot, which is often used to drop ransomware, is once again the most prevalent malware. Globally, one out of every 61 organisations is impacted by ransomware every week. That’s a shocking figure and companies need to do more. Many attacks start with a simple email, so educating users on how to identify a potential threat is one of the most important defences an organisation can deploy.

CPR also revealed this month that Education/Research is the most attacked industry globally, followed by Communications and Government/Military. “Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 60% of organisations globally, followed by “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which affects 55% of organisations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” remains in third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 54%.

Top malware families

*The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month

This Month, Trickbot is the most popular malware impacting 4% of organisations worldwide, followed by XMRig with 3% and Remcos with 2%.

  1. ↔ Trickbot - Trickbot is a modular Botnet and Banking Trojan constantly being updated with new capabilities, features and distribution vectors. This enables Trickbot to be a flexible and customisable malware that can be distributed as part of multi-purpose campaigns.

  2. ↑ XMRig - XMRig is an open-source CPU mining software used for the mining process of the Monero cryptocurrency, and first seen in the wild in May 2017.

  3. ↑ Remcos - Remcos is a RAT that first appeared in the wild in 2016. Remcos distributes itself through malicious Microsoft Office documents which are attached to SPAM emails and is designed to bypass Microsoft Windows UAC security and execute malware with high-level privileges.

  4. ↑ Glupteba - Glupteba is a backdoor which gradually matured into a botnet. By 2019 it included a C&C address update mechanism through public BitCoin lists, an integral browser stealer capability and a router exploiter.

  5. ↑ Tofsee - Tofsee is a backdoor Trojan, operating since at least 2013. Tofsee serves as a multipurpose tool that can conduct DDoS attacks, send spam emails, mine cryptocurrencies, and more.

  6. ↑ Ramnit - Ramnit is a banking Trojan that steals banking credentials, FTP passwords, session cookies and personal data.

  7. Agent Tesla - Agent Tesla is an advanced RAT functioning as a keylogger and information stealer, which is capable of monitoring and collecting the victim’s keyboard input, system keyboard, taking screenshots, and exfiltrating credentials to a variety of software installed on a victim’s machine (including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and the Microsoft Outlook email client).

  8. ↑ Ursnif - Ursnif is a Trojan that targets the Windows platform. It is usually spread through Exploit Kits, including Angler and Rig in their day. Ursnif steals information related to the Verifone Point-of-Sale (POS) payment software. It contacts a remote server to upload collected information and receive instructions. Moreover, it downloads and executes files on the infected system.

  9. Formbook - Formbook is an Info Stealer that harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to its C&C orders.

  10. ↑ Nanocore - NanoCore is a Remote Access Trojan, that was first observed in the wild in 2013 and targets Windows operating system users. All versions of the RAT feature base plugins and functionalities such as screen capture, crypto currency mining, remote control of the desktop and webcam session theft.

Top Attacked Industries Globally

This month Education/Research is the most attacked industry globally, followed by Communications and Government/Military.

  1. Education/Research

  2. Communications

  3. Government/Military

Top exploited vulnerabilities

This month “Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 60% of organisations globally, followed by “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which affects 55% of organisations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” remains in third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 54%.

  1. ↑ Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal (CVE-2010-4598,CVE-2011-2474,CVE-2014-0130,CVE-2014-0780,CVE-2015-0666,CVE-2015-4068,CVE-2015-7254,CVE-2016-4523,CVE-2016-8530,CVE-2017-11512,CVE-2018-3948,CVE-2018-3949,CVE-2019-18952,CVE-2020-5410,CVE-2020-8260) - There is a directory traversal vulnerability on different web servers. The vulnerability is due to an input validation error in a web server that does not properly sanitise the URL for the directory traversal patterns. Successful exploitation allows unauthenticated remote attackers to disclose or access arbitrary files on the vulnerable server.

  2. ↓ Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure - An information disclosure vulnerability has been reported in Git Repository. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an unintentional disclosure of account information.

  3. ↔ HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-10826,CVE-2020-10827,CVE-2020-10828,CVE-2020-13756) – HTTP headers let the client and the server pass additional information with an HTTP request. A remote attacker may use a vulnerable HTTP Header to run arbitrary code on the victim machine.

  4. ↑ Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass (CVE-2018-10561) – An authentication bypass vulnerability exists in Dasan GPON routers. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability would allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive information and gain unauthorised access into the affected system.

  5. ↔ MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution – A remote code execution vulnerability exists in MVPower DVR devices. A remote attacker can exploit this weakness to execute arbitrary code in the affected router via a crafted request.

  6. ↑ Apache Struts2 Content-Type Remote Code Execution (CVE-2017-5638,CVE-2017-5638,CVE-2019-0230) - A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the Apache Struts2 using Jakarta multipart parser. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending an invalid content-type as part of a file upload request. Successful exploitation could result in execution of arbitrary code on the affected system.

  7. ↓ Command Injection Over HTTP (CVE-2013-6719,CVE-2013-6720) – A command Injection over HTTP vulnerability has been reported. A remote attacker can exploit this issue by sending a specially crafted request to the victim. Successful exploitation would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target machine.

  8. ↑ D-LINK Multiple Products Remote Code Execution (CVE-2015-2051) - A remote code execution vulnerability has been reported in multiple D-Link products. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution on the vulnerable device.

  9. ↓ OpenSSL TLS DTLS Heartbeat Information Disclosure (CVE-2014-0160,CVE-2014-0346) – An information disclosure vulnerability exists in OpenSSL. The vulnerability, aka Heartbleed, is due to an error when handling TLS/DTLS heartbeat packets. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability to disclose memory contents of a connected client or server.

  10. ↑ Apache HTTP Server Directory Traversal (CVE-2021-41773,CVE-2021-42013) – A directory traversal vulnerability exists in Apache HTTP Server. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to access arbitrary files on the affected system.

Top Mobile Malware

This month xHelper remains in first place in the most prevalent Mobile malware, followed by AlienBot and XLoader.

  1. xHelper - A malicious application seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and display advertisements. The application is capable of hiding itself from the user and can even reinstall itself in the event that it was uninstalled.

  2. AlienBot - AlienBot malware family is a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) for Android devices that allows a remote attacker, as a first step, to inject malicious code into legitimate financial applications. The attacker obtains access to victims’ accounts, and eventually completely controls their device.

  3. XLoader - XLoader is an Android Spyware and Banking Trojan developed by the Yanbian Gang, a Chinese hacker group. This malware uses DNS spoofing to distribute infected Android apps to collect personal and financial information.