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Australia ranks high in global malware detection rates, reveals Trend Micro
Thu, 14th Mar 2024

Trend Micro, a player in global cybersecurity, has disclosed that Australia was among the top ten countries with the highest number of malware detections, amounting to 2.7% of total global detections. Additionally, Australia ranked eighth among countries with the highest detection of URL victims at 52 million.

The company noted a high detection rate of malicious URLs in Australia suggesting it is an effective attack vector for cybercriminals. The findings underline the importance of enhanced employee education on phishing attacks and attest to the growing sophistication of cyber attackers in targeting fewer victims for greater financial gains.

According to Trend Micro's report titled 'Cyber Threat Surge: Trend Micro Blocks 160 billion Global Incidents in 2023', the company registered a 10% annual increase in total threats blocked in 2023. The report cautioned that cyber attackers are deploying more advanced methods to target fewer victims with the potential for higher financial returns. In the studied year, Australia faced close to 176 million email threats and a whopping 52 million URL victims. Aside from malware, New Zealand had over 3,500 malicious mobile apps detected amid 2,400 ransomware and 10 million email threats blocked.

Mick McCluney, Technical Director ANZ at Trend, noted, "Globally, we're blocking more threats than ever before for our customers, and this is no different for Australia. A high detection of malicious URLs compared to other countries shows that this is becoming an effective attack vector for cyber criminals."

In 2023, Trend Micro blocked 161 billion global threats overall, a significant rise compared to 82 billion threats five years ago. The threats blocked by Trend's File Reputation Service (FRS) saw a 35% annual increase, suggesting threat actors are bypassing early detection layers like network and email filters by targeting higher-profile victims with more sophisticated attacks.

The report highlighted several global trends, including increased variety and sophistication in the attacks perpetrated by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors, a surge in email malware detection by 349% year-on-year (YoY), and a decline by 27% YoY in malicious and phishing URL detections.

The detection of Business Email Compromise (BEC) grew by 16% YoY while ransomware detections dropped by 14% YoY. This indicates that threat actors are refining their evasion tactics to bypass primary detection, explaining the uplift in malicious file detections at endpoints.

In light of these findings, Trend suggests network defenders work with trusted security vendors. They recommend comprehensive security protocols to protect against vulnerabilities, tighter configuration settings, and enhanced account and device security.