Check Point's Global Threat Index for May confirms that cryptomining malware is replacing ransomware as the most prevalent online threat.
Indeed, the Coinhive cryptominer affected 22% of organizations worldwide, which is an increase of nearly 50% compared to April, according to the report. The malware works without consent or knowledge of the user to mine the Monero cryptocurrency.
This marks the fifth consecutive month where cryptomining malware was the top threat in the Check Point Index. In addition to Coinhive, the report identified three other cryptomining malware threats that have been seen across the globe over the last month:
Check Point also looked at other kinds of threats.
The most exploited cyber vulnerabilities that they found in May were CVE-2017-7269, with a global impact of 46%, followed by CVE-2017-10271 affecting 40% of organizations worldwide. In third place was SQL injection, impacting 16% of organizations globally.
Microsoft IIS WebDAV ScStoragePathFromUrl Buffer Overflow (CVE-2017-7269) affects Windows Server 2003 R2 through Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0. Due to a buffer overflow vulnerability resulted by improper validation of a long header in HTTP request, a remote attacker could execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service.
A patch for this Microsoft vulnerability has been available since March 2017.
Oracle WebLogic WLS Security Component Remote Code Execution (CVE-2017-10271) allows remote code execution because of the way Oracle WebLogic handles XML decodes. A patch has been available since October 2017.
The classic injection of SQL query in input from client to application, while exploiting a security vulnerability in an application's software, was found to be in third place.
Threat actors are pragmatic, using both modern techniques -- two vulnerabilities published in 2017 -- and classic attack vectors such as SQL injection.
"With crypto-mining malware's consistent growth, cyber-criminals are innovating their techniques in order to find new ways to exploit victims' machines and net more revenue," Maya Horowitz, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Check Point, wrote in a statement. "Now that they're seeking to infiltrate networks using unpatched server vulnerabilities, this is a clear reminder to organizations that security basics -- such as patching -- are critical to ensuring that networks remain secure."
This index is a call for security professionals to tend to the basic grunt work that needs to be performed to keep an organization secure, especially in those countries around the world where security has been treated as an afterthought.
— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.