Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2015 Contents MAY 2015 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG15
Around 2.2 billion+
malicious attacks on
computers and mobile
devices were mounted
during the first quarter
of 2015. This staggering
figure is double the
amount detected in Q1
of 2014. That s according to Kaspersky Lab s
IT Threat Evolution Report for Q1 of 2015,
which called the quarter "monumental" for
"In the last few years, Kaspersky Lab has
observed many advanced cyberthreat actors,
appearing to be fluent in many languages,
such as Russian, Chinese, English, Korean or
Spanish. In 2015 we reported on cyberthreats
"speaking" Arabic and French, and the question
now is: who will be next," commented Aleks
Gostev, chief security expert in the Kaspersky
Lab Global Research and Analysis Team.
Kaspersky Lab experts confirmed they had
discovered a threat actor that surpassed any-
thing known to date in terms of complexity
and sophistication of tools: The Equation
Group. It s been linked to the Stuxnet and
Flame super threats.
Among its unique proficiencies is the ability
to infect hard drive firmware to infect victims
and mimic criminal malware.
"What s special in our job is the discovery
of a new threat, one that surpasses anything
known before. You think: this is it, the lord
of malicious creation. But within months
something new is discovered that surpasses
the previous discovery. This is how the cyber
world works: we are hunting the hunters, who
constantly upgrade the tools they use to trick
us, but we learn too," Gostev said.
Kaspersky Lab also reported Carbanak, the
most profitable cyber-criminal operation to
date, Desert Falcons, the first known Arabic
cyber-espionage group, and attacks by Animal
Farm, a French speaking cyber-espionage cam-
Advanced persistent threats (ATP)
During the same time period Kaspersky Lab
also published a report on Carbanak, opening
up a new era of APT-style attacks in the cyber-
criminal world. The end-goal of an APT-style
attack is to compromise a machine on which
there is some sort of valuable information.
With an estimated 100 financial organisations
hit and a total of close to US$1 billion stolen
directly from banks, Carbanak has become
one of the most successful criminal cyber
campaign ever seen.
In addition, while investigating an incident
in the Middle East, Kaspersky Lab experts
came across the activity of Desert Falcons,
the first Arabic speaking group seen conducting
full-scale cyberespionage operations. The group
has claimed more than 3,000 victims, including
political activists and leaders, military and
governmental organisations, mass media,
financial institutions and other organisations.
The activities of Animal Farm were also
written about during the quarter, as two of
three zero-day vulnerabilities discovered in
2014 by Kaspersky Lab are associated with
this advanced threat actor.
By the numbers
Kaspersky Lab analysed the overall level of
cyber-threats globally. Main statistical findings
of their quarterly report include:
Kaspersky Lab solutions repelled 469 million
attacks launched from online resources located
all over the world, a third (32.8 per cent) more
than in Q1 of 2014.
About 40 per cent of Web attacks neutralised
by Kaspersky Lab products were carried out
using malicious Web resources located in Rus-
sia. Last year Russia shared first place with
the USA, with the two countries accounting
for 39 per cent of Web attacks between them.
More than 93 million unique URLs were
recognised as malicious by Web antivirus, 14.3
per cent more than in Q1 of 2014.
• 103,072 new malicious programmes for
mobile devices were discovered, a 6.6 per cent
decline from the amount discovered in Q1 of
• 1,527 new mobile banking Trojans detected,
29 per cent more than in Q1 of 2014.
Detected mobile threats were in a decline
but still considered dangerous. Mobile malware
is trending toward monetisation as malware
writers design SMS Trojans, banker Trojans
and ransomware Trojans capable of stealing
or extorting money and users bank data. This
category of malware accounted for 23.2 per
cent of new mobile threats in Q1 of 2015.
Evolving security landscape
One thing the Kaspersky report makes it
clear that world of enterprise security is chang-
ing rapidly. As IT industry moves inexorably
toward web-based technologies, the same
functionality and mobility advantages corporate
users enjoy are also being leveraged by cyber-
criminals. As employees access corporate assets
over unprotected networks, the rapidly dis-
appearing corporate perimeter has made it
easier to breach security.
Today s information security pros need sight
of every user and device accessing the corporate
network, if they are to remain secure in today s
increasingly connected world. Best practices
for organisations and users include keeping
all devices and software systems updated; seg-
regating sensitive devices from non-sensitive
devices; backing up systems; and being vigilant
about network access patterns and trends.
The full IT Threat Evolution Report for Q1
of 2015 is available at Securelist.com.
Rising cyber threats
Kaspersky Lab reports increase in malicious cyber attacks
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