44% of Malware Gets Delivered Through ZIP and RAR Files

Microsoft Office files have been the most popular mode of delivery for malware for quite some time now, but there has been a shift of late that has put more of a focus on ZIP and RAR files as well as other archive file format. While 32% of malware is still being delivered through Word and Excel files, ZIP and RAR files have seen an 11 point increase and are now being used in 44% of malware delivery cases.

The attacks are usually initiated with a string of malicious HTML that redirects unsuspecting users to a document viewing page. The HTML also helps these cyber attackers to bypass email filters more easily than might have been the case otherwise. When the user is taken to the document viewer, which looks strikingly similar to Adobe and is thus more likely to be trusted, they are then told to download a ZIP file. They are given a password to enter into the ZIP file to unlock its contents.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this is when the malware gets deployed onto the unwary user’s system. Such file formats make it really simple for malicious actors to encrypt their malware, and it also makes it a lot more difficult to detect with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Additionally, the payload does not have to be restricted to malware. It can also contain spyware, ransomware or anything else in that category. Users need to be careful while clicking links because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up putting their safety at risk even if they are unaware. About 18 billion malicious links have been clicked on by HP users alone, and that reveals just how dire this problem has become.

There must be a concerted effort to train these users about the risks of email sent malware. The problem with continue to grow if these steps are not taken, and that could result in staggering economic losses.

H/T: HP Wolf Security

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