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Latest VIPRE Security Group Email Threat Trends Research Exposes Global Phishing and Malware Threat Landscape

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The US, UK, Ireland, and Japan emerge as the main source of spam; manufacturing, government, and IT sectors are most victimized; Pikabot top malware family 
LONDON, May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — VIPRE Security Group, a global leader and award-winning cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection company, today released its Q1 2024 Email Threat Trends report, based on an analysis of 1.8 billion emails. The findings reveal the evolving landscape of email-based threats and emerging tactics malicious actors are employing.

The US, UK, Ireland, and Japan top the spam sources listThe report identifies the US as the top source of spam emails globally, followed by the U.K., Ireland, and Japan. The US, UK, and Canada are the top three countries most subjected to email-based attacks.
Attackers aim at the manufacturing sectorThe manufacturing, government, and IT sectors are the most victimized by malicious actors. In Q1 2024, the manufacturing sector suffered 43% of email-based attacks, with the government (15%) and IT (11%) trailing well behind. This is a change from Q1 2023, when attackers targeted the financial (25%), healthcare (22%), and education (15%) sectors most often.
Scams surpassing phishing This research warns that ‘scams’ within the spam category are growing in popularity among cybercriminals, overtaking phishing emails in the first quarter of 2024.
There’s been a notable increase in phishing emails masquerading as communications from Human Resources, falsely claiming to relate to employee benefits, compensation, or insurance within a company. These emails contain malicious attachments in .html or .pdf formats, featuring phishing QR codes that redirect recipients to phishing sites upon scanning.
New phishing trends and techniquesIn email phishing campaigns, 75% of emails leverage links, 24% favor attachments, and 1% use QR codes. Attackers are employing links in phishing emails for URL redirection (54%), compromised websites (22%), and newly created domains (15%).
Emerging tactics employed by cybercriminals to execute phishing attacks include the use of .ics calendar invite and .rtf attachment file formats to trick recipients into opening malicious content.
Malspam links and top malware familyEncouraged by the success of password-oriented phishing emails that use links, cybercriminals are opting for malicious links in malspam emails instead of attachments. Malware is increasingly being hidden in cloud storage platforms such as Google Drive. The use of malware-based emails employing attachments has increased to 22% in Q1 2024, from only 3% in Q1 2023.
Due to the void left by the dismantled Qakbot malware, Pikabot has emerged as the top malware family, with IceID a distant second.
Exploiting software vulnerabilitiesCriminals are exploiting a web application vulnerability, most notably Reflected Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), focusing on the tag attribute “href”, to circumvent detection by using a variety of tactics such as images as the entire email content, encoding URLs, and directing the victim through multiple URLs.
Malicious actors are also finding success with thread hijacking of NTLM (NT LAN Manager), a security protocol used by Microsoft Windows operating systems for authentication. By hijacking the authentication thread, attackers extract NTLM challenge-response hashes from legitimate SMB (Server Message Block) sessions, to enable them to impersonate authenticated users and gain unauthorized access.
“Criminals are using email with success to scam, infiltrate networks, and unleash malicious payloads,” warns Usman Choudhary, Chief Product and Technology Officer, VIPRE Security Group. “We’re witnessing bad actors relentlessly exploiting human vulnerabilities and software flaws, circumventing email gateways and security measures with alarming precision. Robust email and endpoint defenses, coupled with a vigilant human frontline, remain our strongest defense against these unyielding attacks.”
To read the full report, click here: VIPRE’s Email Threat Trends Report: Q1 2024.
VIPRE leverages its unique understanding of email security to equip organizations with the information they need to protect themselves. This report is based on proprietary intelligence gleaned from round-the-clock vigilance of the cybersecurity landscape.
About VIPRE Security Group VIPRE Security Group, part of Ziff Davis, Inc., is a leading provider of internet security solutions purpose-built to protect businesses, solution providers, and home users from costly and malicious cyber threats. With over 25 years of industry expertise, VIPRE is one of the world’s largest threat intelligence clouds, delivering exceptional protection against today’s most aggressive online threats. Our award-winning software portfolio includes next-generation antivirus endpoint cloud solutions, advanced email security products, along with threat intelligence for real-time malware analysis, and security awareness training for compliance and risk management. VIPRE solutions deliver easy-to-use, comprehensive layered defense through cloud-based and server security, with mobile interfaces that enable instant threat response. VIPRE is a proud Advanced Technology Partner of Amazon Web Services operating globally across North America and Europe.
The group operates under various brands, including VIPRE®, StrongVPN®, IPVanish®, Inspired eLearning®, Livedrive®, and SugarSync®. www.VIPRE.com

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Optellum showcases AI for precision lung cancer treatment at ASCO 2024

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OXFORD, United Kingdom, May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Optellum, a global leader in AI-driven clinical decision support for early lung cancer diagnosis, has launched its multimodal therapy AI guidance platform for life science research. The novel AI software and scientific results, showing potential to optimize curative lung cancer treatment, will be showcased for the first time at the 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago (31 May—4 June).

Lung cancer often shows no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage, leaving patients with limited treatment options and less favorable outcomes. However, by continuous automated analysis of the 90 million CT scans US patients receive yearly, it may be possible to create an “early detection system”. Optellum Virtual Nodule Clinic, the first FDA-cleared decision support for early-stage lung cancer, integrates a Patient Discovery AI based on Natural Language Processing with a clinically validated Lung Cancer Prediction (LCP) score based on imaging AI/Radiomics. The combination assists clinicians in identifying at-risk patients across health systems and prioritizing them for follow-up interventions.
Early diagnosis offers patients curative treatment options. Unfortunately, some 30% to 60% of Stage I-II NSCLC patients will experience recurrence after surgery. Accurate prognosis of recurrence risk could enable thoracic oncology teams to optimize treatment early, for example, to tailor the extent of surgical resection and ensure neo-adjuvant and peri-operative treatments are offered to those at risk. To drug developers, it may enable risk-stratifying populations to increase treatment rates, expand indications to earlier stages, and predict treatment response.
Optellum will showcase their precision lung cancer care AI solutions at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2024 Annual Meeting. In the ASCO scientific program (Poster Session, 3rd June, 1:30 pm), Optellum’s clinical partners will present results of AI-guided recurrence prognosis in Stage I-III NSCLC from multi-modal pre-surgical data (Abstract #8066 1) showing significantly increased sensitivity for recurrence compared to staging. The Optellum AI solutions will also be demoed at the CancerLinQ booth (#14013) and ConcertAI booth (#12045).
Christine D. Berg, M.D., the co-principal investigator of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) at the National Cancer Institute, which paved the way for lung cancer screening implementation, commented: “The accurate determination of prognosis drives treatment decisions in oncology. Radiomic tools combined with demographics, as shown by Optellum, can be an effective non-invasive technology to optimize decision making early in the patient’s journey, which may help to improve outcomes.”
“Our multi-modal AI platform aims to become the ‘operating system’ that guides precision lung cancer care across the patient journey, from early identification to predicting response and monitoring,” said Václav Potěšil, PhD, Founder & Chief Business Officer at Optellum. “Neo-adjuvant therapies are real game changers. Together with our medtech and biopharma partners, we leverage the power of AI to help democratize access to life-saving early diagnosis and precision treatment for every patient who can benefit.”
Learn more here.
About OptellumOptellum is a commercial-stage lung health company providing artificial intelligence decision-support software that assists physicians in early diagnosis and optimal treatment for their patients. The company was founded so that every lung disease patient is diagnosed and treated at the earliest possible stage when the probability of better health outcomes is highest. The Oxford-based medtech company has been the first to achieve FDA 510(k) clearance and reimbursability for US Medicare patients under CMS New Technology APC for the application of AI decision-support software in lung cancer diagnosis. It has since announced strategic partnerships with industry leaders, including GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, and many other top biopharma and medtech companies, while Virtual Nodule Clinic has been implemented in healthcare systems across the USA and Europe. Optellum has headquarters at the Oxford Centre for Innovation in Oxford, UK, and a US office at the Texas Medical Center. For more information, visit optellum.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
Media Contact
Optellum Communications | [email protected]
1 Pre- and post-operative lung cancer recurrence prediction following curative surgery: A retrospective study using European radiomics and clinical data. Ann Valter, Tanel Kordemets, Aydan Gasimova, Noah Waterfield Price, Lutz Freitag, Anil Vachani, David Paul Carbone, Kersti Oselin, https://meetings.asco.org/abstracts-presentations/239181
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Element Biosciences to Showcase Sequencing Innovations at the European Human Genetics Conference

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Customers laud the positive impact of AVITI on advancing their scientific research
SAN DIEGO, May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Element Biosciences, Inc., developer of pioneering technologies to empower science, will showcase the rapidly growing use of its AVITI™ System sequencer across the European scientific community at the European Human Genetics Conference 2024 in Berlin, Germany, on June 1.  

During ESHG 2024, which runs from June 1-4, Element Biosciences’ Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Michael Previte will share the latest details on the AVITI24™, the first platform to combine state-of-the-art sequencing and multiomic cell analysis in one integrated biology tool.  The AVITI24 enables the simultaneous measurement of multiple analytes, including DNA, RNA, proteins, phosphorylated proteins, and morphology, in up to one million cells per flow cell.
“At ESHG, we’re excited to show the transformative power of AVITI and highlight how we’re advancing our mission to increase access to high-quality, affordable tools for complex biological research through AVITI24,” said Previte.
The AVITI System is expanding access to faster, more efficient and innovative sequencing for European scientific labs, with Element’s technologies now being used by researchers in most countries in Europe. With its AVITI24 open for preorders, Element also announced that existing customers are prebooking ahead of shipment, including the National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI) at SciLifeLab, a world-leading Swedish national center for large-scale research and one of the largest molecular biology research infrastructures in Europe.
“As part of the National Genomics Infrastructure, we’re committed to staying at the forefront of technology,” said Robert Månsson Welinder, Head of Strategic Relations at NGI. “Element’s AVITI24 will help us push this frontier and allow our scientific community to pursue new and exciting science.”
Leading European scientists emphasized the positive impact the AVITI has had on advancing their scientific research. Igor Fijalkowski, researcher at the Center for Medical Genetics at Ghent University in Belgium, noted the ease of adoption and flexibility of the platform saying “Over the last year or so we performed more than 100 runs of AVITI sequencing and overall, across multiple applications, the sequencing quality has been excellent. The transition was frictionless, so we are very happy with the way the sequencer has been performing.”
Several other researchers noted the cost-effectiveness, high quality, and flexibility of the AVITI platform. “Since the installation of our AVITI we have been blown away by its flexibility and quality outputs,” said Megan Hamilton, Genomics Facility Manager at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Petri Auvinen, Research Director at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Finland, said “AVITI seems to be the most efficient and most legitimate system to run a new chemistry for sequencing.”
Others called out the unique features of the AVITI not available on other platforms. “The cost-effectiveness of AVITI adds to its high sequencing quality of Q40-50, which makes it an important device in the future of cancer research,” said Romain Boidot, molecular biologist at the Georges-François Leclerc Center, France. Also in France, Charles Poncet, lab manager at INRAE, said “We chose AVITI for its combination of performance, price of the instrument and reagents, flexibility, and applications. We also had the chance to test AVITI with our wheat samples and the results were excellent, especially for an organism with such complex genetics.”
Two years after launching AVITI, the sequencer that provides the highest quality sequencing on a benchtop, Element has continued to innovate on its modular platform. It has introduced faster run times, expanded kit offerings, the Elembio Cloud software platform, and industry-leading affordability, while maintaining unprecedented accuracy.
About Element Biosciences, Inc.
Element Biosciences is a pioneering life science company democratizing access to advanced biological tools, driving impactful discoveries to benefit humanity. We are focused on developing disruptive DNA sequencing and multi-omics technology for research markets. Through innovating every fundamental element of a biological assay system, Element empowers customers with affordable, high-quality data and an improved user experience, which in turn will accelerate scientific discoveries. To learn more about Element, please visit www.elementbiosciences.com and follow us on LinkedIn, X (Twitter), and Facebook.
Media Contact:Kristi HeimElement [email protected]
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St. Pölten UAS: Networking Meeting of the Higher Education Area

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St. Pölten UAS Hosts 33rd EURASHE Annual Conference
Every year, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) brings together representatives of the higher education sector in order to discuss and design a common path in important matters for the present and future of education. This year’s meeting was held at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. The focus of the event was on transnational collaborations between higher education institutions and on cooperation with the business world and society. More than 200 experts from all over Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East took part.
ST. PÖLTEN, Austria, May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — EURASHE, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, features approximately 600 universities, universities of applied sciences, university colleges, and similar institutions that conduct primarily professional higher education and applied research.

 
Important Voice in the European Higher Education Area”In order to come up with solutions to the diverse challenges of our times, it is necessary for us to integrate the knowledge and experiences of various fields and to further develop our creativity. In most cases, individual higher education institutions can generate only little impact unless they pool their forces. Therefore, international partnerships and university alliances are decisive for future-oriented development”, emphasises St. Pölten UAS CEO Hannes Raffaseder who is the current President of EURASHE. St. Pölten UAS is also the coordinator of the European University Alliance E³UDRES².
„Regarding higher education institutions it’s important that we have a diversity of voices in Europe and EURASHE is a very important voice for the universities of applied sciences. They bring in a different perspective. Typically they are very rooted in the local or regional context. They are close to the labour market and they are very innovative. So we need EURASHE to bring in their perspective and come up with new ideas on how we can make transnational cooperation work better at European level”, says Sophia Eriksson Watershoot, Director for Youth, Education and  Erasmus+ from the European Commission.
“I am happy to have our conference here in St. Pölten. The conference is different each year, and that is what makes EURASHE conferences so interesting. Here at this new campus, people get a feel of how fast changing this sector is. And we had a great diversity of people at the conference this year including guests from all around the world like North America, Asia, and the Middle East”, says John Edwards, Secretary General of EURASHE.
33rd EURASHE Annual Conferencehttps://www.eurashe.eu/events/annual-conference-2024https://www.eurashe.eu
Contact:Mark [email protected]+43 2742 313 228 ext. 269
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