Security News

Report: The Australia and New Zealand Threat Landscape

May 11, 2015

Australia and New Zealand Threat Landscape Report View the Australia and New Zealand Threat Landscape Report

The Australia and New Zealand Threat Landscape Report offers a detailed look into the security threats in the ANZ region that were prevalent in 2014, as well as the various trends and user behavior that could have contributed or shaped its threat landscape. Globally, we also saw how the attacks in 2014 affected individuals and organizations, resulting in the loss of confidential data, as well as substantive financial losses. The same can be said for the ANZ threat landscape, which faces a similar set of threats:

  • Ransomware
TorrentLocker attacks figured prominently in the ANZ region with the use of spam emails that pretended as penal notices from the New South Wales government or shipping details from the Australia Post. Based on our findings, TorrentLocker outbreaks are persistent and severely impacted affected users and organizations.  
The top ransomware families affecting Australia:
Others: 11%
Although ransomware mostly affect home users, we observed that nearly 20% of enterprises around the world are hit by this threat. In the cases we’ve analyzed, small and medium-sized businesses in Australia were mostly affected by TorrentLocker.|
[Read: Ransomware - What it is, and how to protect yourself]
  • Mobile Threats
Throughout 2014, the number of malware and high-risk apps spiked, with aggressive adware being the dominant threat in the Android platform. The spike in the number of mobile threats can be linked to the user behavior persistent in the ANZ region, including the increased use of mobile devices for apps and online banking.  In addition, enterprises are embracing Consumerization and BYOD trends that can introduce risks to data.

[Read: Embracing BYOD Safely and Securely]
  • Online Banking Threats
Although the number of online banking malware have incremental changes month over month around the world, the numbers rose and fell in Australia in 2014.  The top online banking malware seen in the ANZ region are ZeuS, RAMNIT, FAREIT, and VAWTRAK.
  • Point-of-Sale (PoS) Malware
A number of high-profile targets were hit globally last year by point-of-sale (PoS) RAM scrapers. The attacks resulted in millions in losses, making PoS Malware a mainstream threat. The U.S. registered the most number of systems infected by PoS malware, with Australia following close behind. Apart from retailers, PoS malware also targeted other industries.
[More on PoS malware: Defending Against PoS RAM Scrapers: Current Strategies and Next-Gen Technologies]
  • Targeted Attacks
Enterprises and large organizations are constantly at risk of targeted attacks, or advanced persistent threats (APTs) that aim to exfiltrate confidential company data.  In our 2014 annual report on targeted attacks, we observed a global distribution of targets. The cases monitored in 2014 also showed some of the countries that hosted targeted attack C&C servers, including Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, and Germany. 
[More on targeted attacks: Targeted Attack Campaigns and Trends: 2014 Annual Report]
  • Other threats affecting ANZ region
Aside from the above-mentioned threats, phishing hit ANZ users hard as financial services customers fell victim to phishing scams embedded with malicious links.  We also observed a spike in the number of hits to malicious URLs hosted in ANZ. Based on our data, Web-based threats that employ multicomponents, such as URL, spam, and malware, are prevalent in the ANZ region.
Read the full report for more details on the threat landscape trends in the ANZ region.  

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