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McAfee Threat Report: Cybercriminals are Targeting COVID-19 Affected Community

McAfee has released its Threat Report for the month of November, pertaining to cybercriminal activities about malware and the enhancements in cyber threat in Q2 of 2020. According to McAfee, during the second quarter of 2020, an average of 419 new threats came into existence per minute as overall new malware samples saw a growth of 11.5%.

The malicious Donoff Microsoft Office attacks grew rapidly taking the PowerShell malware up to 117% and Coronavirus led cybercriminals to modify their cybercrime campaigns to lure victims in the name of the pandemic.

McAfee examines each quarter by assessing the state of the cybercrime landscape with the help of in-depth research, investigative analysis, and the data gathered by McAfee Global Threat intelligence cloud.

Using COVID-19 in Cybercrime Campaigns

While the world was dealing with COVID-19 during the Q1 of 2020, the second quarter witnessed many companies adapting to new working models and it gave a rise to new and advanced cybercrimes. In order to help the CISO and security teams understand the intricate techniques applied by cybercriminals to hack into businesses, governments, schools, and workforce, McAfee launched the COVID-19 Threat Dashboard. During Q2, McAfee recorded a 605% increase in COVID-19 related attacks compared to Q1.

Donoff and PowerShell Malware

Donoff Microsoft Office document is disguised as TrojanDownloaders. It uses Windows Command Shell to launch PowerShell and then downloads malicious files into the computer. During the Q1 of 2020, a 689% surge in PowerShell malware was with the help of Donoff. In the Q2, Donoff related malware growth slowed down but remained strong enough to drive PowerShell malware by 117%. It also dove a 103% increase in overall Microsoft Office malware.

Attacks on Cloud Users

McAfee also saw around 7.5 million external attacks on cloud user accounts. This data comes from the aggregation and anonymization of cloud usage data from more than 30 million McAfee MVISION cloud users across the world. The data represents companies in every major industry around the world including fintech, healthcare, public sector, education, retail, technology, etc.

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