How Malware Trends Affect Key Industries, From Healthcare to High Tech

Ryan Olson


Today we released our first Threat Landscape Review, which takes a high-level view of how malware is delivered to networks across major industries around the world. The data used for this report was derived from Palo Alto Networks WildFire™, which automatically identifies threats from malware over a wide array of applications by executing them in a virtual environment, observing their behavior. This data was collected from live systems in networks belonging to 2,363 different companies operating in 82 different countries.

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While there are currently over 4,000 organizations using WildFire to defend their networks the data for this report was specifically collected from organizations in 10 key verticals:

  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • High Tech
  • Higher Education
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Retail and Wholesale

The following are key findings from this report:

  • Globally, our platform detected malware delivered in over 50 distinct applications. 87% of this malware was delivered over SMTP, 11.8% through Web-Browsing (HTTP) and 1.2% in the remaining applications.
  • While all verticals saw SMTP and HTTP as the primary channels for malware delivery, they varied greatly in the percentage for each. Retail and Wholesale organizations received almost 28% of malware over the web channel while Hospitality organizations received less than 2% through the same channel.
  • Over 90% of unique malware samples were delivered in just one or two sessions, while a much smaller proportion was delivered in over 10,000 attacks.
  • While the US is still the leading callback location across all verticals, analysis revealed a variance in callback prevalence by country based on each vertical.
  • One malware family, known as Kuluoz or Asprox, was responsible for approximately 80% of all attack sessions recorded in the month of October. This malware sends copies of itself over e-mail quickly and to users all around the world and then attempts to download additional malware, impacting 1,933 different organizations.

Download the full report here.

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