Top 10 Malware February 2020

Top 10 Malware composition is very consistent with January 2020 with the exception of Ursnif. Nemucod remained, for the second month in a row, in the Top 10 despite remaining relatively quiet since 2017. This is likely to a lack of activity associated with more prominent malwares regularly seen on the list. Overall, the Top 10 Malware variants comprised 51% of Total Malware activity in February, down slightly from 53% in January. ZeuS and its variants continue to drive the number of infections to start out the new year.


In February 2020, malware commonly delivered via malspam accounted for the greatest number of alerts in the Top 10 malware list. Activity levels in all categories decreased over the past month. The ZeuS, CryptoWall, and CoinMiner alerts account for activity within the multiple infection vector category for the month. Cerber, Dridex, Kovter, NanoCore, Nemucod, and Ursnif drive malspam related infections for the month of February. Gh0st is currently the only malware in the Top 10 whose primary initiation vector is being dropped by other malware. There is a high likelihood that malspam will continue to remain the preferred initiation vector for malware in the Top 10.


Dropped – Malware delivered by other malware already on the system, an exploit kit, infected third-party software, or manually by a cyber threat actor. Currently Gh0st is being dropped.

Multiple – Malware that currently favors at least two vectors. ZeuS, CryptoWall, and CoinMiner are currently utilizing multiple vectors. ZeuS is dropped by other malware, but it is also delivered via malvertisement. CoinMiner utilizes the malspam and dropped vectors.

Malspam – Unsolicited emails, which either direct users to malicious web sites or trick users into downloading or opening malware. Top 10 Malware using this technique Cerber, Dridex, Kovter, NanoCore, Nemucod, and Ursnif.


  1. ZeuS is a modular banking trojan which uses keystroke logging to compromise victim credentials when the user visits a banking website. Since the release of the ZeuS source code in 2011, many other malware variants have adopted parts of it’s codebase, which means that events classified as ZeuS may actually be other malware using parts of the ZeuS code.
  2. Cerber is an evasive ransomware that is capable of encrypting files in offline mode and is known for fully renaming files and appending them with a random extension. There are currently six versions of Cerber, which evolved specifically to evade detection by machine learning algorithms. Currently, version 1 is the only version of Cerber for which a decryptor tool is available.
  3. NanoCore is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) spread via malspam as a malicious Excel XLS spreadsheet. As a RAT, NanoCore can accept commands to download and execute files, visit websites, and add registry keys for persistence.
  4. Dridex is a banking trojan that uses malicious macros in Microsoft Office with either malicious embedded links or attachments. Dridex is disseminated via malspam campaigns.
  5. CryptoWall is a ransomware commonly distributed through malspam with malicious ZIP attachments, Java Vulnerabilities, and malicious advertisements. Upon successful infection, CryptoWall will scan the system for drive letters, network shares, and removable drives. CryptoWall runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
  6. Kovter is a fileless click fraud malware and a downloader that evades detection by hiding in registry keys. Reporting indicates that Kovter can have backdoor capabilities and uses hooks within certain APIs for persistence.
  7. CoinMiner is a cryptocurrency miner that uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and EternalBlue to spread across a network. CoinMiner uses the WMI Standard Event Consumer scripting to execute scripts for persistence. CoinMiner spreads through malspam or is dropped by other malware.
  8. Gh0st is a RAT used to control infected endpoints. Gh0st is dropped by other malware to create a backdoor into a device that allows an attacker to fully control the infected device.
  9. Nemucod is a trojan that downloads additional malware onto an infected system. It is primarily spread via malspam and is known to drop ransomware such as Teslacrypt.
  10. Ursnif, and its variant Dreambot, are banking trojans known for weaponizing documents. Ursnif recently upgraded its web injection attacks to include TLS callbacks in order to obfuscate against anti-malware software. Ursnif collects victim information from login pages and web forms