Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report outlines new cybercriminal activity and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), as well as provides data and insight into malware, exploit and botnet activity.

A significant number of new vulnerabilities led to increased threat actor activity across all three of the threat classifications: malware, botnets and exploits. Of note are several older botnets that saw a resurgence in Q1, including Mirai, STRRAT and Emotet. 

Mirai, known for co-opting IoT devices to launch DDoS attacks, showed a spike in activity in February 2022. This corresponded with the discovery of Spring4Shell, a zero-day attack on the popular Java web application framework, Spring Core. The attack allows for unauthenticated remote code execution, and data show Mirai exploited this vulnerability to its botnet.

STRATT botnet, which engages in information stealing, keystroke logging, and credential harvesting from browsers and email clients, also spiked in February. This data corresponds with recent announcements identifying a new STRRAT phishing campaign. 

Additional notable findings from Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report include:

  • Incidences of malware, botnet, and exploit activity increased 4.76%, 12.21% and 3.87%, respectively, over Q4 2021. 
  • Visual Basic Applications (VBA) trojans continue to be the top malware variant, comprising nearly 30% of all malware variants. Of note is its activity spiked just before Microsoft announced plans to block VBA macros by default on Office products. 
  • Brute force attacks – when threat actors guess different combinations of potential passwords until the correct password is discovered – were by far the most popular exploit at 61%. 

“Securing expanded risk surfaces today requires that organizations have 20/20 hindsight combined with an over-the-horizon view of current and potential future threats,” said Craig Robinson, Program Director for Security Services at IDC. “Understanding the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that attackers have historically utilized does not lose value over time, as many of these exploits get repeated with slight twists to make them dangerous zero-day exploits.”

For the full report, please visit