Malware grew by 5.7% in 2021
Last year, Kaspersky’s detection systems found over 380 000 malicious files each day, pointing to a 5.7% increase compared to the previous year.
This growth is in line with the ongoing rise in the number of devices used globally, among other things.
This was revealed by Kaspersky’s Security Bulletin: Statistics of the Year Report.
In the past, the majority of threats (91%) happened via WindowsPE files – a file format specific to Windows OS. However, in 2021 attackers began spreading threats associated with the Linux OS more actively than ever before, resulting in the number of Linux malware and unwanted software soaring by 57%.
Over half (54%) of the threats were made up of unspecified Trojans, and although many types of threats showed a decrease in volume in 2021 compared to 2020, Trojan Droppers grew by 2.24% during that time. This type of threat is particularly harmful as these programs are designed to deliver other, more sophisticated malware to a target’s device.
There was also a substantial increase in the number of worms detected (117.5%). Lastly, viruses grew by 27%.
Over half of the threats detected by Kaspersky during 2021 were made up of unspecified Trojans.
Denis Staforkin, a security expert at Kaspersky, says throughout last year, the company found 20 000 more pieces of malware per day than the year before. “This was not unexpected. Online activity is still at its height due to remote working being adopted worldwide.”
In addition, he says the major shift to online operations also meant an increasing number of devices are being used around the world, leading to a wider attack surface and, as a result, a wider exposure to threats.
“Improving digital literacy and keeping security solutions up to date are two extremely important tasks for users today,” he adds.
To stay protected, Kaspersky recommends to never download and install applications from untrusted sources, or click on any links from unknown sources or suspicious online advertisements.
Also, the company advises to create strong and unique passwords, to always install updates, as some of them may contain critical security issue fixes, and ignore messages asking to disable security systems for office or cyber security software.