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Financial malware sees huge rise in 2019

(Image credit: Photo Credit: andriano.cz/Shutterstock)

Financial malware (opens in new tab) is rising in popularity with malicious actors increasingly targeting corporations and financial institutions.

According to researchers at Kaspersky, there have been 430,000 financial malware (opens in new tab) targets in the first half of the year. Hackers were looking to steal either money, cryptocurrencies or other “web-money services”. This figure represents a seven per cent jump, compared to the same period last year.

Looking at who the hackers were targeting most – almost a third of its targets (30.9 per cent) were corporate users. This represents double the figure compared to last year, given that corporations represented 15.3 per cent of the total number of victims, this time in 2018.

Typically, victims are attacked either with phishing emails or web pages. In both scenarios, hackers are making emails and web pages look legitimate. In the first half of the year, there have been more than 339,000 phishing attempts from fraudulent web pages, posing as bank landing pages.

Most popular malware families (opens in new tab) for banks, according to the report, are RTM, Emotet, and the Trickster. For private users, there’s Zbot, RTM and Emotet.

“We expect to see a rise in the number of attacked users in the second half of 2019. Usually, we see a rise in malicious activity after the holiday season, when people are using their devices less than usual and therefore are less likely to fall a victim to threat actors. We urge everyone to be extra careful with all banking and finance-related operations that they perform online and remain vigilant,” said Oleg Kupreev, security researcher at Kaspersky.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.