Cyber crime activities witnessed a major rise in 2020, as per the data shared by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky on the ‘Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Statistics of the Year’ report.
According to the report, Kaspersky detected 3,60,000 malicious files each day on an average in 2020, a 5.2 per cent increase from 2019.
The increase was primarily due to a significant increase in the number of Trojans (malicious files capable of a range of actions, including deleting data and spying) which increased by 40.5 per cent and backdoors (a specific type of Trojan that gives attackers remote control over the infected device) which grew by 23 per cent. 89.8 per cent of the malicious files detected occurred via Windows PE files. It is a file format specific to Windows operating systems.
However, the number of new malware related to Android operating systems declined by 13.7 per cent this year.
“Given that many people were working and studying from home, most likely on computers and laptops, attackers appear to have shifted their focus to these devices,” Kaspersky said. The cybersecurity firm also witnessed a 27 per cent increase in the number of different scripts that were sent via malicious email campaigns or encountered on infected websites.
“Over the past year, our detection systems discovered far more new malicious objects than they did in 2019. Due to the pandemic, users from around the world were forced to spend more time on their devices and online. It’s hard to know whether or not attackers were more active or our solutions detected more malicious files simply because of greater activity. It could be a combination of both,” said Denis Staforkin, security expert at Kaspersky.
“Either way, we have registered a noticeable increase in the number of new malicious files this year, and this will most likely continue going into 2021 as employees continue to work from home and countries implement different restrictions. However, if users take basic security precautions, they can significantly lower their risk of encountering them,” Staforkin added.