A recent cybersecurity report by Kaspersky reveals a significant 53% increase in daily cyber-threats targeting Microsoft Office throughout 2023. The study highlights an average detection of 411,000 malicious files daily, marking a nearly 3% surge from the previous year. Notably, cybercriminals are shifting tactics, placing emphasis on Microsoft Office and other document formats. The report indicates a spike in malicious files within formats like Microsoft Office and PDFs, approximately 24,000 files, linked to a rise in phishing attacks using deceptive PDFs designed to extract sensitive data.
Trojans remain prominent, but the report notes a substantial rise in backdoor usage. The daily detection of backdoors has surged from 15,000 files in 2022 to 40,000 in 2023, highlighting an increased threat of cybercriminals gaining remote control over victims’ systems. Vladimir Kuskov, Head of Anti-Malware Research at Kaspersky, underscores the evolving cyber-threat landscape, expressing concerns about adversaries developing new malware, techniques, and methods to target organizations and individuals. The annual increase in reported vulnerabilities, combined with threat actors exploiting these vulnerabilities, including ransomware gangs, adds to the escalating cyber threat.
Kuskov further points out that the lowering entry barrier to cybercrime is facilitated by the widespread adoption of AI. Attackers leverage AI to craft more convincing texts in phishing messages, emphasizing its role in facilitating cyber-threats. In response to these increasing threats, Kaspersky recommends embracing reliable security solutions for both large organizations and individual users. Additionally, users are advised to stay vigilant, avoid untrusted app sources, refrain from clicking on dubious links, create strong, unique passwords with two-factor authentication (2FA), and prioritize regular updates while disregarding messages prompting security system disablement.