Webroot Finds Windows 7 is Becoming Even Riskier, Infections up by 71%

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Also, Phishing Attempts Seen by Webroot Increased by 400%

Webroot, a Carbonite company, shared the results of its Webroot Threat Report: Mid-Year Update, which explores the evolving cybersecurity landscape. Based on trends observed in the first half of 2019, Webroot found that 1 in 50 URLs are malicious, nearly one-third of phishing sites use HTTPS and Windows 7 exploits have grown 75% since January. This report also highlights the importance of user education, as phishing lures have become more personalized as hackers use stolen data for more than just account takeover.

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Explore the Webroot Threat Report: Mid-Year Update:

Key Report Findings:

  • Hackers are using trusted domains and HTTPS to trick victims.
    • Nearly a quarter (24%) of malicious URLs were found to be hosted on trusted domains, as hackers know trusted domain URLs raise less suspicion among users and are more difficult for security measures to block.
    • 1 in 50 URLs (1.9%) were found to be malicious, which is high given that nearly a third (33%) of office workers click more than 25 work-related links per day.
    • Nearly a third (29%) of detected phishing web pages use HTTPS as a method to trick users into believing they’re on a trusted site via the padlock symbol.

  • Phishing continued rapid growth into 2019, and criminals are expanding their phishing targets.
    • Phishing grew rapidly, with a 400% increase in URLs discovered from January to July 2019.
    • The top industries impersonated by phishing include:
      • 25% are SaaS/Webmail providers
      • 19% are financial institutions
      • 16% social media
      • 14% retail
      • 11% file hosting
      • 8% payment services companies

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  • Phishing lures are becoming increasingly personalized as more PII is collected from breaches.
    • Phished passwords are used for more than account takeover, specifically: extortion emails claiming they’ve been caught doing something embarrassing or damaging that will be shared with colleagues, friends and family unless a ransom is paid.
    • Phishing doesn’t always target usernames and passwords. These attacks also go after secret questions and their answers.

  • Windows 7 is becoming even riskier, with infections increasing by 71%.
    • Between January and June, the number of IPs that host Windows exploits grew 75%
    • Over 75% of malware on Windows systems hides in one of three places:
      • 41% in %temp%, 24% in %appdata% and 11% in %cache%.
      • Businesses can easily set policies to restrict execution of any application from the %temp% and %cache% locations, preventing more than 50% of infections.
    • Malware samples seen on only one PC are at 95.2%, up from 91.9% in 2018
    • Out of all infected PCs, 64% were home user machines, and 36% were business devices, likely because home users aren’t protected by corporate firewalls and security policies and may not be updated as regularly.

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