Security research from Intel's McAfee has found a significant increase in Adobe Flash malware attacks and ransomware infections.
Headlines from the McAfee Labs Threats Report May 2015 (PDF) include a tripling of Flash malware samples and a 165 percent increase in ransomware attacks.
The analysis found almost 200,000 Adobe Flash malware samples, an increase of 317 percent against the 47,000 found at the same time last year.
McAfee said that Adobe reacts quickly to the attacks, and released fixes for 42 of the flaws on the same day they were entered into the vulnerability database.
"With the popularity of a product like Flash, there comes a tremendous responsibility to proactively identify and mitigate security issues potentially threatening millions of users," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs.
"This research nicely illustrates how the tech industry works together constructively to gain an advantage in the realm of cyber security - industry partners sharing threat intelligence, and technology providers acting on information quickly to help prevent potential issues."
The UK is particularly blighted by phishing attacks, and McAfee estimates that there are six attacks every second. The UK is home to 887 phishing domains, making it a European leader.
The Dyre, Dridex and Darkmailer3 botnets proved to be the most prevalent, while the number of threats aimed at new PCs actually declined over the period.
Mobile malware increased by 49 percent year over year, but SSL threats began to taper off. McAfee said that this is down to remediation work after a number of significant threats in 2014. However, the firm warned that Shellshock is still dangerous.
Denial-of-service attacks are the most common assault on networks, accounting for 37 percent of incidents. By comparison only eight percent of attacks went after SSL vulnerabilities.
McAfee keeps a malware "zoo" and increased its collection by 13 percent over the year to some 400 million samples.
The McAfee researchers looked into the Equation Group and its phishing activities, reporting that the Equation malware can alter the firmware on solid state drives, having previously been limited to hard drives.
"We at McAfee take hybrid software/hardware threats and exploits seriously. These Equation Group firmware attacks rank as some of the most sophisticated threats of their kind," said Weafer.
"While such malware has historically been deployed for highly targeted attacks, enterprises should prepare themselves for the seemingly inevitable ‘off-the-shelf' incarnations of such threats in the future."
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