- Digitally signed malware. Digitally signed malware samples increased 50 percent, to more than 1.5 million new samples. McAfee Labs also revealed the top 50 certificates used to sign malicious payloads. This growing threat calls into question the validity of digital certificates as a trust mechanism.
- New mobile malware families. McAfee Labs researchers identified one entirely new family of Android malware, Exploit/MasterKey.A, which allows an attacker to bypass the digital signature validation of apps, a key component of the Android security process. McAfee Labs researchers also found a new class of Android malware that once installed downloads a second-stage payload without the user’s knowledge.
- Virtual currencies. Use of new digital currencies by cybercriminals to both execute illegal transactions and launder profits is enabling new and previously unseen levels of criminal activity. These transactions can be executed anonymously, drawing the interest of the cybercriminal community and allowing them to offer illicit goods and services for sale in transactions that would normally be transparent to law enforcement. McAfee Labs also saw cybercriminals develop Bitcoin-mining malware to infect systems, mine their processing power, and produce Bitcoins for commercial transactions. For more information, please read the McAfee Labs report “ Virtual Laundry: An Analysis of Online Currencies, and Their Use in Cybercrime.”
- Android malware. Nearly 700,000 new Android malware samples appeared during the third quarter, as attacks on the mobile operating system increased by more than 30 percent. Despite responsible new security measures by Google, McAfee Labs believes the largest mobile platform will continue to draw the most attention from hackers given it possesses the largest base of potential victims.
- Spike in spam. Global spam volume increased 125 percent in the third quarter of 2013. McAfee Labs researchers believe much of this spike was driven by legitimate “affiliate” marketing firms purchasing and using mailing lists sourced from less than reputable sources.
McAfee Labs Sees New Threats Subverting Digital Signature Validation
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