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2020 sees a global shift in financial malware threats

By Shannon Williams, 07 Apr 2021

The financial threat landscape experienced a game-changing pandemic year, according to a new report from Kaspersky.

The report, titled Financial Cyberthreats in 2020, found that while the overall volume of threats via PCs or mobiles decreased during this period, Kaspersky experts noticed cybercriminals using new and advanced propagation techniques. 

The geography of attacks has become more diversified and extensive – especially from a mobile financial malware perspective.

Traditionally a lucrative avenue for malicious users, these developments, and the focus on mobile represents a change of tack. Mobile bankers have experienced particular impact by this, being a type of malware that is designed to steal users’ credentials, or even funds from users’ accounts.

 the 10 countries with the highest percentage of users that encountered Android banking malware included:

Russia, a longtime leader amongst the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of users that encountered Android banking malware, moved down to seventh place in 2020 from its higher spot in 2019. At the same time, Japan and Taiwan, absent from the list of affected countries in 2019, rose rapidly to occupy the top two spots.

“In 2020, we observed a number of new countries becoming a hotbed for cyber-infections. The clearest example of this is Japan, which faced a wave of attacks from the Wroba.g banking Trojan," says Victor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky.

"The bright side here is that most of these attacks can be prevented. Therefore, we urge users to take extra care when conducting mobile financial transactions,” he says. 

In order to protect themselves from financial malware, Kaspersky experts advise users to take the following measures:

Only install applications from reliable sources such as official stores Check what permissions the application requests – if they do not match the program’s functions, then they should be questioned Install a trusted security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect you against a wide range of financial cyber threats Install all latest updates and patches for existing software on a continuous basis

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe.

The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. 

Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 250,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. 

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