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Tuesday, 30 April 2019 12:37

Australia ranks sixth for Q1 malware detections in APAC region: report Featured

Australia ranks sixth for Q1 malware detections in APAC region: report Image Stuart Miles at

Australia ranks sixth for the number of malware detections recorded in the APAC region, with a total of 59,301 business detections for the first quarter of 2019, according to a newly released report.

The Q1 2019 Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques report from security firm Malwarebytes reveals that among the top 10 countries (in order of most detections) were Indonesia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Singapore ranks number nine, with a total of 1,047,780 business detections.

On the consumer side, Malwarebytes reports that there were 830,175 detections, making a total of 889,476 detections overall.

And, according to Malwarebytes, adware, generic malware and RiskwareTool remain the most common detections across both business and consumer.

Globally, Malwarebytes says Q1 showed a “significant uptick” in business ransomware detections (195%), along with continued momentum for Trojan variations by over 200% and a sharp decline in crypto mining.

And, in APAC, Malwarebytes says the region has seen business malware detections on the rise, similar to global trends.

“Consumers might breathe a sigh of relief seeing that malware targeting them has dropped by nearly 40 percent, but that would be short-sighted,” said Adam Kujawa, director of Malwarebytes Labs.

“Consumer data is more easily available in bulk from business targets, who saw a staggering 235 percent increase in detections year-over-year.

“Cyber criminals are using increasingly clever means of attack to get even more value from targets through the use of sophisticated Trojans, adware and ransomware.”

Other key findings of the Malwarebytes survey for Asia Pacific include:
Ransomware is growing in prevalence

Ransomware was ranked the fourth most common threat detected in APAC and has gained rapid momentum among business targets with an increase of 30% in detections from Q4 2018 to Q1 2019. Compared to the same time last year, business detections of ransomware have seen a rise of over 325%, due to rogue WannaCry infections still spreading through the APAC region due to unpatched systems.

Cryptomining is on the decline

Between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, there was a drop of 33% on consumer miners. From the same period the previous year, there was nearly an 80% drop in consumer miner detections. A reverse trend was observed in businesses, which saw a rise of 77% of business miners between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, and a 42% rise in business miner detections year-on-year. Overall, the crypto mining detections have been observed to slow down.

Emotet also continues to target enterprises. Businesses are the prime target

The overall detections of Emotet on businesses have risen almost 200% from the previous quarter, and consumer detections have also showed a significant increase of 170%. In total, Emotet detections have shown a 230% increase between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019.

Backdoor Vools have been replaced by Viruses

Last year, backdoor Backdoor.Vools which uses Eternal exploits was observed to be breaking into networks. Since the beginning of the year, the use of Backdoor.Vools has dropped by 88% in businesses. In place of this threat is an increase in the use of viruses, or file infectors, which modify executable files on the system and execute malicious code when launched. The use of viruses, essentially setting up more backdoors, is something worth noting for businesses and consumers, who are showing distrust towards the way organisations handle their data.

Globally, the APAC region comes in third place for the total number of detections

A total of 14.1m malware detections were observed in APAC in Q1 2019, with backdoors, viruses, exploits and Android backdoors and monitors as the top malware detected. APAC was in third place behind North America (19.84m) and the EMEA region (19.8m).


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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