Any startup looking to gain a foothold in a given market knows there’s a minimum threshold to surpass before you can start gaining traction – a niche that must be carved out and solidified from which all activities become based around for the success of the business. If you business happens to be hacking, landing a master boot record (MBR) trojan on a large number of PCs is that starting point, and according to the latest McAfee Labs quarterly threat report, business is booming.

There’s been a 30 per cent increase in MBR attacks over the first quarter of 2013, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based security vendor reports. Landing a piece of malware on a computer’s MBR means that it can not only avoid detection from antivirus programs, but it has administrator level control over the machine. It usually paves the way for all sorts of other nasty trojans, backends, and various malware that cyber-criminals are using to collect information they can use to steal an organization’s or individual’s money or financial credentials.


McAfee’s chart here shows that MBR attacks including mebroot, Tidserv, Cidox, and Shamoon have been increasingly sharply over the last two quarters and setting new record highs.

Cyber-criminals are likely using MBR malware as a gateway to drop password-stealing tools and information-gathering malware onto business PCs, McAfee reports. These hackers are looking for valuable trade secrets they can sell off to the highest bidder, or better yet, access to a financial resource they can quickly drain.

Download the full McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2013 here.


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