PDFs, Microsoft Office files among top new file types
In 2019, SonicWall observed that most new threats are
based on malicious PDFs or Office files, followed by Archives.
PDF files are popular because they are searchable, can be viewed on any device, are easy to create and may be encrypted for security, password-protected and/or digitally signed for authentication.The file type’s ubiquity makes them an attractive delivery mechanism for cyber criminals, who use them to spread phishing URLs, scripts, embedded malicious files and other PDF-based exploits.
In fact, Office (20.3%) and PDFs (17.4%) represent 38%
of new threats detected by Capture ATP. Popular Microsoft Office/Office 365 files (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are leveraged in similar fashion. The graph below shows the popularity of using PDF to deliver malicious payloads, particularly during the
beginning of 2019; malicious Office files were then leveraged later in the year.
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Blog content for the Sonic Wall Cyber Threat Report series provided by our partners at SonicWall.