Use of Malware Decreases in Cyber Attacks as Exploit Usage Skyrockets
New data on cyberattacks from last quarter provides a lens of what kinds of attack techniques to expect to see from cyber attackers this year.
Cybercriminals are responding to changes in cybersecurity measures. According to cybersecurity vendor Nuspire’s Q4 2022 and Year in Review Threat Report, malware is on its way out, botnets are down and exploits are becoming the hot new focus.
According to the report, malware usage declined by 35% from Q3 to Q4 – Nuspire attributes this to Microsoft disabling of VBA macros within Office documents, rendering the use of such droppers useless. Nuspire did mention that phishing will continue and, despite the sizable dip in Q4, 2022 overall still saw a nearly 7% increase in malware use over the previous year.
In contrast, exploits grew massively in popularity – to the tune of 104.6% growth from Q3 to Q4 of last year, with 2022 as a whole experiencing a 92% growth in exploits over the previous year.
These shifts in technique show that cybercriminals aren’t stifled at all by improvements in cybersecurity; instead they simply shift to where the greatest opportunity lies to see a successful attack.
With phishing still very much on the rise – despite the nearly extinct use of VBA macros – attackers need to rely on social engineering to trick victims into downloading malicious exploits and malware – something thwarted by Security Awareness Training designed to educate users on what cyberattacks look and act like, so they don’t become their next victim.
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