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Top 5 Malware Threats Today

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Top 5 Malware Threats

Here is a list of the Top 5 Malware Threats we have encountered and dealt with over the past month.

  • WannaCry
  • Emotet
  • Kovter
  • ZeuS
  • Mirai


WannaCry is a regular feature in most recent Top 5 Malware Threats lists.

The first major outbreak of WannaCry was on May 12 2017 and it is still highly prevalent. WannaCry is a worm that is delivered via spam or network attack. The highest risk is to computers running older operating systems and with no sufficient protection in place. We are still finding large numbers of businesses running older operating systems like Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft are not supporting these systems so they are particularly vulnerable. It is considered urgent that businesses depending on older computers either upgrade their operating system or


Emotet has been around since 2014 and is often disguised in links within web pages or emails. Email attachments can appear safe because they look like they are made to look like pdf or Microisoft Word files. Once activated the malware can steal address books from people’s email and launch DOS attacks (denial of service). The primary purpose is however to get access to people’s sensitive banking information. Emotet is a very sophisticated piece of malware in that it can change its own behaviour to fool investigators. Once it takes hold, it is very aggressive at spreading itself throughout the compromised network.


The Kovter malware infection is another click fraud trojan that deceives an email recipient into clicking a file or link. Once activated, Kovter does not actually exist as a file that you may expect to find on a hard drive. It is able to insert itself into system registry files and utilise computer memory to hide itself and work. Kovter creates a back door into a network and is able to take further instructions from a remote source. So called “fileless malware” presents a particularly vexatious problem for forensic investigators as there is no basically physical evidence of an infection that can be used in a chain of custody process when taking the details to court. The malware only exists while the computer is on, so in short, turning the computer off will deactivate the infection, then the computer needs to be isolated and treated.


ZeuS malware is often delivered by another piece of malware. Once activated, it uses key logging technology to identify user names and passwords for sensitive sites – especially banking.


Mirai or “the future” in Japanese is an infection that targets the “Internet of Things”. Business owners may glaze over when we discuss the IoT but the reality is that many common devices are now IoT capable including photocopiers, smart speakers, camera systems, routers etc. Mirai also has the ability to capture cryptocurrency mining processes. Essentially, once activated the malware deploys bots which can be controlled to cause havoc via DOS attacks, among other methods.

If you would like to discuss Malware threats and protecting your business please contact us today.

Confidential Technology Services is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies.

Our Top 5 Malware threats will be reviewed monthly – please bookmark our news page.

It is important that business owners be aware of these threat risks and understand the sophistication and diversity with which they can propagate themselves.