Publicly disclosed security incidents rose 41 percent during the first quarter of the year, compared with the final quarter of 2017, according to McAfee Labs most recent threats report.

McAfee counted 313 publicly disclosed incidents during Q1 involving 37 industries and 120 geographic regions. On average, there were five new security threats sampled every second.

Prominent among the latest attacks were a rise in cryptojacking and other cryptocurrency mining malware, where attackers hijack victims’ browsers or infect their systems to secretly use them to mine for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. All told, coin miner malware grew 629 percent in the first quarter from about 400,000 total known samples in the fourth quarter of 2017 to more than 2.9 million.

“There were new revelations this quarter concerning complex nation-state cyber-attack campaigns targeting users and enterprise systems worldwide,” McAfee chief scientist Raj Samani said in the report. “Bad actors demonstrated a remarkable level of technical agility and innovation in tools and tactics.”

These campaigns were notable, he added, for “demonstrating a deliberate drive to technically improve upon the most sophisticate established attacks of 2017.”

Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.