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Macro-less document attacks rise

Total malware attacks are up by 33% and cyber criminals are increasingly leveraging Microsoft Office documents to trick victims and deliver malicious payloads, according to the latest Internet Security Report from WatchGuard Technologies (
Based on global threat intelligence data from nearly 40,000 Firebox appliances, WatchGuard has also launched a new Threat Landscape data visualisation tool to give public access to daily updates about the most prevalent computer and network security threats affecting SMBs and distributed enterprises.
“After a full year of collecting and analysing Firebox Feed data, we can clearly see that cyber criminals are continuing to leverage sophisticated, evasive attacks and resourceful malware delivery schemes to steal valuable data,” said Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer at WatchGuard Technologies.
“Although these criminal tactics may vary over time, we can be certain that this broad trend will persist, so the risks have never been greater for small and midsize organisations with less IT and security resources.  We encourage businesses of all sizes to proactively mitigate these threats with layered security services, advanced malware protection and employee education and training in security best practices.”
The report also shows that nearly half of all malware detected eluded basic antivirus (AV) solutions.  WatchGuardFireboxes block malware using both legacy signature-based detection techniques and a modern, proactive behavioural detection solution – APT Blocker – which provides advanced malware protection by catchingmalware variants missed by legacy AV signatures.  This zero day malware accounted for 46% of all malware in Q4.  This level of growth suggests criminals are using more sophisticated evasion techniques capable of slipping attacks past traditional AV services, which further underscores the importance of behaviour-based defences.

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