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Financial malware sees huge rise in 2019

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Financial malware 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 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 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.