All Aboard the COVID-19 Train Malware Trends Taking Advantage of the Pandemic


Since the outbreak of COVID-19, plenty of COVID-19 themed malware attacks have surfaced around the globe. Attackers take every chance they get to spread their malware, and the pandemic has given them ripe opportunities.

Based on data from D-Cloud, Deep Instinct’s Threat intelligence, and telemetry cloud environment, the number of attacks has overall risen. This is particularly seen in the number of malicious executables and Office documents, which are commonly used to deliver the former. We believe this to be linked to an increase in malware attacks and malicious activity during the pandemic. Our data is consistent with trends seen elsewhere, which also point to an increase in attacks since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, the amount of malicious Office documents, which were seen in the first half of 2020, is greater by 62% than the amount of the same type of files, which were seen in the first half of 2019. The increase correlates with waves of COVID-19 phishing attacks, which commonly use this type of file. A comparison for the same time periods in 2019 and 2020, shows the number of malicious executables went up by 40%.

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