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Volume of malicious files detected daily saw dramatic rise in 2020

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Malware is on the rise, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which states that 5.2 percent more malicious files were detected this year than last.

In total, 360,000 new malicious files were intercepted over the last twelve months. Largely, these files were linked with either Trojans or backdoors, both of which rose substantially, by 40.5 and 23 percent respectively. Worms written in the VisualBasicScript language, belonging to the Dinihou malware family, also represented a significant chunk of the growth.

On the other hand, adware dropped by more than a third (35 percent), compared to the year before.

Almost all of the files were written for Windows (90 percent), while malware for Android dropped 13.7 percent. According to Kaspersky, this is because the pandemic has forced people to stay at home, where they use Windows-powered devices more than Android-powered ones.

This is not the only way the pandemic affected how criminals operate. Kaspersky also says it spotted a 27 percent increase in the number of different scripts sent via malicious email campaigns or infected websites and that this, too, is due to people spending more time at home 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,” said Denis Staforkin, security expert at Kaspersky.

“It could be a combination of both. 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.”