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Malware variety grows by 13.7% in 2019 due to web skimmers

Oliver Knight

Kaspersky’s web antivirus solution has identified a 13.7% rise in unique malicious objects compared to last year, with a total of 24.6 million being found.

The growth has been attributed to a staggering 187% rise in web skimmer files, while other threats such as back doors and banking Trojans also grew.

However, the presence of malicious cryptocurrency miners has fallen by 50%, most likely due to the lack of interest in cryptocurrencies over the year.

Around 85% of web threats were detected as malicious URLs, which now find themselves on Kaspersky’s blacklist.

“The volume of online attacks has been growing for years, but in 2019 we saw a clear shift from certain types of attacks that are becoming ineffective to the ones focused on gaining clear profit from users,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, head of anti-malware research at Kaspersky.

“This is partly due to users becoming more aware of the threats and how to avoid them, and organisations steadily becoming more responsible.”

He continued: “A good example is miners, which have lost their popularity due to lower profitability and cryptocurrencies’ fight against covert mining.

“This year we also witnessed growth in zero-day exploits, showing products remain vulnerable and are used by attackers for sophisticated attacks, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.”

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