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More new malicious files discovered in 2021 than ever before

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

A larger number of new malicious files were discovered in 2021 than ever before, researchers at security firm Kaspersky researchers have suggested.

According a new report, 5.7 percent more malicious files have been detected this year, compared to 2020. Kaspersky says its systems have detected 380,000 new malicious files every day on average.

Although most threats (91 percent) originate with WindowsPE files, a file format specific to the Windows OS, cybercrooks appear to have started to diversify. This year, the quantity of Linux malware detected has grown by more than half (57 percent).

Generally speaking, more than half of threats (54 percent) detected were trojans, with trojan dropper infections rising by 2.24 percent year-on-year. This type of program is designed to distribute other, more sophisticated malware, making it particularly dangerous, Kaspersky claims. 

There was also a “noticeable increase” in the number of worms (+117.5 percent), while the number of viruses grew by more than a quarter (27 percent).

All of this, the researchers conclude, is in part due to the rise in the number of devices being used worldwide, especially since the transition to remote and hybrid working.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.