Sophos Group PLC (SOPH) Receives Consensus Rating of "Buy" from Analysts

Shares of Sophos Group PLC (LON:SOPH) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the seven research firms that are presently covering the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is GBX 312.67 ($3.97).

Several brokerages recently weighed in on SOPH. JPMorgan Chase Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a GBX 320 ($4.07) price target on shares of Sophos Group PLC in a research report on Thursday, November 10th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of Sophos Group PLC in a research report on Thursday, November 10th. Peel Hunt restated a “buy” rating and issued a GBX 360 ($4.57) price objective on shares of Sophos Group PLC in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Finally, Numis Securities Ltd restated an “add” rating and issued a GBX 256 ($3.25) price objective on shares of Sophos Group PLC in a research report on Friday, November 4th.

Sophos Group PLC (LON:SOPH) traded up 1.44% on Friday, hitting GBX 267.00. The stock had a trading volume of 944,232 shares. Sophos Group PLC has a 12 month low of GBX 146.00 and a 12 month high of GBX 288.70. The company’s market cap is GBX 1.20 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average of GBX 240.76 and a 200 day moving average of GBX 233.52.

The company also recently declared a dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be paid a GBX 0.01 ($0.00) dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 0.45%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 17th.

Sophos Group PLC Company Profile

Sophos Group plc operates as an investment company for the Sophos Group. It is a provider of cloud-enabled end-user and network security solutions. Its geographic segments include Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the Americas, and Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). Its products under enduser security include Sophos Mobile Control 6, which is developed to include Sophos Secure Email, a personal information management container solution for e-mail, calendar and contacts, and Sophos Server Protection Advanced, which integrates server application to deliver single-click server lockdown, using Sophos Central management.

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Symantec: Malware writers are turning to Microsoft PowerShell script

Microsoft PowerShell, the company’s replacement for the Windows command line, has become a target for malware writers, with security software company Symantec claiming to have seen a 95.4 per cent rise in PowerShell malware instances.

PowerShell will become the default alternative to the command line function in Windows when the Creators Edition arrives next year, and has already superseded it in Insider builds.

PowerShell is available already and has been for around for about ten years. It is generally activated by default. 

The fact that during a sandbox test of 111 threat families, nearly all the analysed scripts were malicious shows what a threat to the enterprise that the move could potentially be.

Symantec advises sysadmins to make sure that machines are running the latest version of PowerShell and to enable extended logging and monitoring options. They also (not surprisingly) suggest you buy their software to protect yourself. 

Among the high-profile cases that have involved PowerShell are the Odinaff Group attacks on financial establishments and the Trojan.Kotver infection, which was created to infect the registry without using any files.

PowerShell can also be used to uninstall security products, detect sandboxes and sniff passwords.

Symantec says: “PowerShell is installed by default on most Windows computers, and most organisations do not have extended logging enabled for the framework. These two factors make PowerShell a favoured attack tool.”

It adds: “Furthermore, scripts can easily be obfuscated and allow for payloads to be executed directly from memory.”

OpenSSH has been added to bolster security, but because PowerShell is so much more powerful than the old command line, there are a lot more opportunities for mischief. It does, however, form the basis for the interoperability between Linux and Windows that has been increasingly visible over the past year or so.

Back in August, a version of Windows 10 that was automatically rolled out to machines actually borked Powershell altogether, leaving it inaccessible for a week.

And, in the same month, Microsoft warned about a new wave of Word macros viruses – utilising security flaws in PowerShell… 

Further reading


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Trend Micro AV nukes innocent Sharepoint code, admins despair

Trend Micro’s antivirus software has flagged benign Sharepoint code as potentially malign and nuked the files, causing the Microsoft package to fall over.

After installing a dodgy update, Trend’s OfficeScan tool removes a harmless JavaScript file from Sharepoint, leaving crashing servers in its wake.

Aggrieved admins have aired their frustration on Reddit.

More than a full day after our initial inquiries, Trend Micro confirmed on Thursday that there was a problem and that a misfiring update – which it has since pulled – was to blame.

False positives are a well-known Achilles’ heel of anti-malware packages. All vendors trip over the issue from time to time.


Trend said the NEMUCOD ransomware family uses “aggressive methods of obfuscation” in trying to avoid detection by traditional security, so the firm used an “unconventional method of detection” to tackle it.

“Unfortunately, the result of this unconventional method was that certain customer customized versions of the particular JavaScript file was incorrectly detected as malicious.”

Trend said it was still analysing the issue and will modify QA testing “to try and prevent a similar issue from occurring again in the future if possible”. ®

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