Atlas VPN has shared its findings for Q1 2022, in which the company revealed startling stats about Microsoft Office. Reportedly, Microsoft Office has become the most commonly exploited software in malware attacks.
It is a fact that most Microsoft Office security flaws are publicly known which makes it easy for cybercriminals to exploit them. On the other hand, because most users ignore essential software updates, scammers can easily inject malicious code after exploiting security loopholes.
According to researchers, some Microsoft Office vulnerabilities are being exploited more than others. These include the following:
These flaws allow system infection, execute commands autonomically, and spread malware infection including the nasty Cobalt Strike one. Despite that security updates are available for these vulnerabilities, these still top the list of most exploited flaws. This indicates that users need to ramp up software security to stay protected.
Atlas VPN wrote that around 78.5% of all malware attacks are launched by targeting Microsoft Office vulnerabilities. Per the Q4 2021 data shared by Kaspersky’s malware research platform Securelist, Microsoft was targeted in 61% of the attacks last year.
Therefore, it can be assumed that hackers are increasingly abusing MS Office, and there’s been a rise in software exploitation since last year.
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In contrast, browser exploits have become rare as they are updated automatically. Android (4.1%), Java (3.48%), Adobe Flash (3.49%), and PDF (2.79%) exploits didn’t show any drastic changes in percentages in Q1 2022.
MS Office is a widely used software. Today, over 1.2 billion individuals and companies across 140 countries and 107 languages use Microsoft Office. For this reason alone, ensuring that the software is properly patched and updated is essential. It is also necessary to follow basic cybersecurity practices and always patch the software as soon as an update is available.