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Nearly 80% of Malware Attacks in Q1 2022 Caused by Microsoft Office Security Flaws

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular software suites in the world, so it is quite surprising that it is the root cause of so many malware attacks with all things having been considered and taken into account. According to data published by Atlas VPN, just under 80% of malware attacks or 78.5% to be precise were conducted by exploiting vulnerabilities in various Microsoft Office products in the first quarter of 2022.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the proportion of attacks that exploit Microsoft Office vulnerabilities is increasing quite rapidly. Back in the third quarter of 2021, which is the last quarter for which such data is available prior to Q1 2022, just over 60% of malware attacks used vulnerabilities that were present within the Microsoft Office suite.

This software suite has over a billion users worldwide, but in spite of the fact that this is the case Microsoft does not seem to be taking the malware problem seriously. Conversely, hacks and exploits that utilize vulnerabilities in browsers have declined, going from 25.57% in third quarter of 2021 down to just 7.64% in the first quarter of 2022. That might be because browsers are updated automatically which plugs any known vulnerabilities, and this is a feature that Microsoft might want to try out for its Office products.

Android has also seen a decrease in its percentages from 5.36% to 4.1%, and while Adobe, Java and PDF didn’t see much of a change their proportions were negligible to begin with.

Microsoft can’t rest on its laurels for much longer because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up further concentrating the attacks on its own products. Other avenues for exploitation and malware delivery are clearly covering their bases, and since Microsoft is not making any progress malicious actors are naturally turning to it as their delivery mechanism of choice. This trend will further intensify if steps are not taken by Microsoft in the near future.


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