2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Microsoft Office Files Overtake PDFs

2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Microsoft Office Files Overtake PDFs

In the first half of 2020, Office files and PDFs made up a third
of all new malicious files identified by Capture ATP. For the
first half of 2019, PDFs showed an edge over Office 365 files,
outpacing them 36,488 to 25,461.

So far in 2020, we’ve seen a major reversal: While 8% fewer
PDF files were uncovered, the number of Office files identified
has exploded, climbing to 70,184 — a 176% increase.

While the overall number of new threats identified over the
past six months is up significantly, there is some good news.
As we’ve moved through the first half of 2020, both the number
of malicious PDF files and the number of malicious Office files
seem to have dipped slightly in the second quarter.

The bad news: just six days into the second half of 2020,
SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have begun
observing advances in the way malicious Excel files distribute
malware — including new techniques to evade signature based, anti-malware engines and hinder sandbox debugging and analysis.

This tells us: 1) The aforementioned respite will likely be brief,
2) Attackers are still focusing a significant amount of time and
energy into these sorts of attacks, so we shouldn’t expect a
sustained drop anytime soon, and 3) Threats are becoming
more evasive and more nefarious, particularly those leveraging
PDF and Office files — making advanced technology like
RTDMI more critical than ever.

See how the experts at CisCom can help you with this and more!

Blog content for the 2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report series provided by our partners at SonicWall.