Antivirus software company McAfee has released its McAfee Threats Report: April 2021, examining cybercriminal activity related to the malware and the evolution of cyber threats in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

In Q4, McAfee Labs observed an average of 648 threats per minute, an increase of 60 threats per minute (10%) over Q3. The two quarters also saw COVID-19-related cyber-attack detections increase by 240% in Q3 and 114% in Q4, while Powershell threats again surged 208% due to continued increases in Donoff malware activity.

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“The world—and enterprises—adjusted amidst pandemic restrictions and sustained remote work challenges, while security threats continued to evolve in complexity and increase in volume,” said Raj Samani, McAfee fellow and chief scientist. “Though a large percentage of employees grew more proficient and productive in working remotely, enterprises endured more opportunistic COVID-19 related campaigns among a new cast of bad-actor schemes. Furthermore, ransomware and malware targeting vulnerabilities in work-related apps and processes were active and remain dangerous threats capable of taking over networks and data, while costing millions in assets and recovery costs.”

Ransomware grew in volume 69 per cent from Q3 2020 to Q4 2020, driven by Cryptodefense. REvil, Thanos, Ryuk, RansomeXX and Maze groups topped the overall list of ransomware families.

Malware was the most reported cause of security incidents in Q4, followed by account hijackings, targeted attacks and vulnerabilities.

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