August 2021’s Most Wanted Malware: Formbook Climbs into First Place

August 2021’s Most Wanted Malware: Formbook Climbs into First Place


Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.  has published its latest Global Threat Index for August 2021. Researchers report that Formbook is now the most prevalent malware, taking over Trickbot, which has fallen into second following a three-month long reign. 

The banking Trojan, Qbot, whose operators are known to take breaks during the summer, has dropped from the top 10 completely after a long stay on the list, whilst Remcos, a remote access Trojan (RAT), has entered the index for the first time in 2021, ranking in sixth place.

First seen in 2016, Formbook is an infostealer that harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to its command and control (C&C) orders. Recently, Formbook was distributed via COVID-19 themed campaigns and phishing emails, and in July 2021, CPR reported that a new strain of malware derived from Formbook, called XLoader, is now targeting macOS users.Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software

“Formbook’s code is written in C with assembly inserts and contains a number of tricks to make it more evasive and harder for researchers to analyze,” said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software. “As it is usually distributed via phishing emails and attachments, the best way to prevent a Formbook infection is by staying acutely aware of any emails that appear strange or come from unknown senders. As always, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.”

CPR also revealed this month that “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 45% of organizations globally, followed by “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” which affects 43% of organizations worldwide. “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass” takes third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 40%.