Microsoft Office facing more security threats than ever before

(Image credit: Shutterstock / binarydesign)

Security threats against PC and macOS devices remain a global worry after nearly a billion attacks were recorded in the last quarter of the year.

According to Kaspersky, 899,744,810 attacks were launched from online resources in 203 countries across the globe during the second quarter of 2020 as cyber criminals showed no sign of letting up during lockdown.

Criminals appear to be targeting software suites such as Microsoft Office as employees around the world embrace a new era of working from home, with Adobe Flash, Java and PDF software also affected.

macOS security

Kaspersky's report examined a range of threats affecting not just Windows PCs, but also macOS devices.

However as mentioned, vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Office suite were found to be the most common flaws exploited used by cybercriminals, with 72% being used during cyberattacks.

Ransomware attacks were defeated on the computers of 154,720 unique users, with malware written in the Go programming language seeing a particular rise - signalling a possible rising interest in attacks on macOS systems.

WannaCry remained the most common ransomware family, being used by 14.74% of all attacks, and there was also a a rise in malware designed to steal money via online access to bank accounts were logged on the computers of 181,725 unique users.

Exploits for popular browsers accounted for about 12% of all attacks, with Kaspersky's antivirus system spotting around 286,229,445 unique URLs with some kind of security issue.

Mobile attacks were found to have fallen from the previous year's figures, however the use malicious installers increased, with Kaspersky detecting 1,245,894 such files, a significant increase over the previous quarter.

The news comes shortly after Kaspersky warned that using a company laptop or desktop PC to work from home could be a significant security threat due to a lack of proper protection.

Reviewing workers provided with a company computer, over three-quarters of desktop devices (77%) have adequate antivirus or cybersecurity software installed, falling some way short of total protection.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.