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The telecom sector is being plagued with dangerous types of malware that can lead to significant loss of confidential or regulated data, a report has found.

Lastline’s findings, published today, found that telecom sector threats are “ahead of the curve,” based on an analysis of threats to the segment over the past 30 days. In comparing the results to overall global malscape threats in all sectors, the report found that telecom over-indexes in advanced, stealthy malware that may not have been seen before; vague antivirus flags; and the volume of malicious files being used — all of which is being used to pick off email credentials from the ISP side of the house.

“There were significant differences in the trends seen in telecom services compared to the global trend,” said researchers, in the study. “Threats arriving in telecom services organizations are ahead of the curve, essentially a zero-day attack, with very few prior submissions of samples being evidenced on VirusTotal. These malspam attacks represent the tip of emerging campaigns and reflect the inherent criminal value in stolen email credentials.”