Angler has been on the rise ever since 2015, as shown in the chart below:
Since the shutdown of the Blackhole exploit kit in 2013 after the owners were detained and sentenced. Blackhole’s compeitors have been growing at a exponential rate with Angler being the largest in 2015.
The degree of sophistication in exploits kits has grown dramatically through the years. Where obfuscation and new zero days had been the only real improvements in each release, evasive code has been seen being inserted into the framework and shellcode.
Organizations can help mitigate these threats by consistently keeping plugins, browsers and third party software up to date. Disabling plugins such as Java, Flash and Silverlight can also reduce the chance of being exploited.
For a full analysis on the Angler exploit kit, check out FireEye’s full analysis.