Old malware rears its ugly head in new attacks: ESET

Dangerous botnet malware, Bayrob, targets A/NZ

An infamous piece of malware called Bayrob, first discovered in 2007, has begun to show up disproportionately, targeting A/NZ.

IT security company, ESET, has revealed that more than nine per cent of all malware detected in Australia by its security systems in January 2016 was Bayrob.

The matching statistic for New Zealand was more than seven per cent and this made Bayrob the most common form of malware in both countries during the first month of the year.

Percentage of overall malware activity in Australia in January 2016
Percentage of overall malware activity in Australia in January 2016

ESET malware analyst, Diego Perez Magallanes, described Bayrob as a typical botnet malware.

“It is capable of updating itself, downloading files or sending information. This makes it dangerous, since at every moment there is the risk that the infected machine downloads and runs some damaging malware, for example ransomware that encrypts files on the computer,” he added.

Recent Bayrob malware attacks have been focused on several countries, including Spain (22 per cent of total attacks), followed by Austria and Germany (19 per cent and 15 per cent respectively).

Percentage of overall malware activity globally in January 2016
Percentage of overall malware activity globally in January 2016

The botnet malware is distinctly more active in Australasia in comparison to global activity, with Australia culminating at 9.4 per cent, and New Zealand at 7.67 per cent, compared to 2.73 per cent globally.

ESET senior research fellow, Nick FitzGerald, recommended users to beware of emails from fake accounts to avoid falling victim to the resurgent malware.

“Check carefully who the email is from, and if the email address indicates the email sender is from a different organisation to the one they claim to be representing, do not respond or open anything attached to that email,” he advised.

“Bayrob malware is typically distributed as email attachments to download. Watch out for executable files disguised as ZIP files. If run, Bayrob displays a message suggesting to the user the downloaded file is incompatible with the system, while it is actually already releasing a Trojan that aims to steal information from the victim’s computer and possibly download further malware.”

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Diego Perez MagallanesNick FitzGeraldbotnetesetmalwareBayrob

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Chris Player
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?