Despite an overall drop in general malware detection for the quarter, Linux malware made up more than 36 percent of the top threats identified in Q1 2017. This attack pattern demonstrates the urgent need for heightened security measures to protect Linux servers and Linux-dependent IoT devices, according to WatchGuard Technologies.
Key findings from WatchGuard’s latest Internet Security Report include:
Linux malware is on the rise, making up 36 percent of the top malware detected in Q1. The increased presence of Linux/Exploit, Linux/Downloader and Linux/Flooder combined to illustrate attackers’ increased focus on Linux servers and IoT devices. Users should protect IoT products and Linux servers from the internet with layered defenses.
Legacy AV continues to miss new malware – at a higher rate. In fact, AV solutions missed 38 percent of the total threats WatchGuard caught in Q1, compared to 30 percent in Q4 2016. The growing number of new or zero day malware now evading traditional AV highlights the weaknesses of signature-based detection solutions and the need for services that can detect and deter advanced persistent threats.
The cybersecurity battleground is shifting toward web servers. Last quarter, drive-by downloads and browser-based attacks were predominant. In Q1, 82 percent of the top network attacks targeted web servers (or other web-based services). Users should strengthen web server defenses by hardening permissions, limiting resource exposure, and patching server software.
Attackers still exploit the Android StageFright flaw. This exploit first gained notoriety in 2015, and is proving its longevity as the first mobile-specific threat to hit WatchGuard Threat Lab’s top 10 attacks list this year. At a minimum, Android users should regularly upgrade their operating systems to prevent mobile attacks like StageFright.
Threat actors take a break from hacking the holidays. Overall, threat volume decreased 52% in Q1 2017 compared to Q4 2016. We believe the drop in malware detections can be attributed to the absence of seasonal malware campaigns associated with various Q4 holidays, which increased overall malware instances during that period.
WatchGuard’s Internet Security Report is based on anonymized Firebox Feed data from more than 26,500 active WatchGuard UTM appliances worldwide, representing a small portion of our overall install base. These appliances blocked more than 7 million malware variants in Q1, representing an average of 266 samples blocked by each individual device. WatchGuard appliances also blocked more than 2.5 million network attacks in Q1, which equates to 156 attacks blocked per device.