SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Kaspersky highlights mobile threat impacting thousands globally

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 20 Apr 2022

Stalkerware, which enables someone to spy on another person's private life using smart devices, impacted more than 32,000 Kaspersky mobile users globally last year, according to the company.

Along with other technologies, stalkerware is often used in abusive relationships. Research has identified a direct link between online and offline violence, making it even more essential to comprehensively tackle this issue, Kaspersky states.

The State of Stalkerware in 2021 report analyses the use of stalkerware around the world, with the aim of better understanding the threat it poses.

It provides some analysis on the phenomenon of stalkerware, and more broadly on technological abuse, as well as tips for non-profit organisations and potential victims.

Kaspersky states that while the company witnessed a significant decrease in affected users compared with the data gathered by the team since 2018, and a 39% decrease from Kaspersky's 2020 numbers, it's important to highlight that these statistics represent only the tip of the iceberg.

According to a rough estimate from the Coalition Against Stalkerware, usage of stalkerware could be close to one million instances globally each year.

By comparing the results of this research with the results of a Digital Stalking survey conducted at the end of 2021, a clear link can be seen between online and offline violence.

In addition, 24% of people surveyed confirmed being stalked using technology, and 25% confirmed having experienced violence or abuse at the hands of their partner.

The team also found the same correlation in most of the countries the survey was run. Two non-profit organisations who also participated in the report and shared their experience from working with victims US-based NNEDV (the National Network to End Domestic Violence) and WWP EN (the European Network for the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence) confirm that tech-enabled abuse is a growing issue.

Toby Shulruff from NNEDV's Safety Net project says, “ICT technologies are powerful tools for perpetrators exerting coercive control, especially in relationships where violence is already present offline, writes Berta Vall Castell and Anna McKenzie from WWP EN.

"Domestic violence has significantly increased during the pandemic, especially during lockdowns. In addition, there is a growing rate of smart devices including home assistants, connected appliances and security systems connected to WiFi networks and smartphones used in intimate partner violence. While stalkerware is a common concern, there are many other tools available for tech abuse."

Stalkerware continues to affect victims everywhere in the world. Kaspersky has identified affected users in over 185 countries and territories.

When it comes to fighting stalkerware, Kaspersky is one of the co-founders and drivers of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, an international group dedicated to tackling the threat and combating domestic violence.

Interpol is a supporter of the Coalition and in 2021, together with Kaspersky, delivered training to more than 200 law enforcement officers on the topic of stalkerware.

Additionally, Kaspersky is one of the partners of the DeStalk project. Funded by the European Commission, this research project aims to develop a strategy to train and support professionals in victim support services, perpetrator programmes, officers of institutions and local government amongst others.

Kaspersky has also developed TinyCheck, a free, open source tool which aims to facilitate the detection of stalkerware in a quick and non-invasive way on a victims device. It can run on any OS without making the perpetrator aware.

In 2021, multiple non-profit organisations in the field of domestic violence tested TinyCheck and provided feedback to help improve it. Police forces and judicial bodies in several countries have also taken an interest in the tool as a way to better support victims.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
InternetNZ
How well do rangatahi understand cyber safety in Aotearoa?
Do rangatahi in Aotearoa understand the importance of being safe online, or has lifelong exposure to the internet resulted in widespread complacency?
Story image
Data Protection
Zero Trust, but verify - finding the OT in ZerO Trust
The move to remote and cloud-based technologies has shifted the goalposts for cybersecurity. It now needs to cover multiple people, devices, platforms, and networks.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
Microsoft
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
Story image
SaaS
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
VMware
Latest VMware threat report reveals truth about deepfakes
"Cyber criminals have evolved. Their new goal is to use deepfake technology to compromise organisations and gain access to their environment."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
IDC
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
ExtraHop
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Malware
Avast One extends protection with Online Safety Score
Avast One has extended its cross-platform support by adding its Online Safety Score feature to both the Mac and iOS platforms of Avast One.
Story image
Data Protection
CyberRes partners with Google Cloud in lead up to BigQuery release
CyberRes, a Micro Focus line of business, has announced a partnership with Google Cloud to support the upcoming release of BigQuery remote functions.
Story image
Data Protection
VMware introduces advanced workload protection for AWS
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS delivers comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
Story image
Gartner
Veeam named Leader in enterprise backup and recovery
"We believe our innovation and ability to execute validates our solid standing as the #1 trusted provider of modern data protection."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks responds to rise in threats with MDR service
Unit 42 Managed Detection and Response is a new service that can offer continuous 24/7 threat detection, investigation and response.
Story image
Sustainability
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
Machine learning
Sysdig releases CDR offering to combat cryptojacking
Sysdig has unveiled a cloud detection and response (CDR) offering powered by machine learning to combat cryptojacking.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Exclusive: NZ-based DEFEND offers global cyber protection
DEFEND supports customers in 66 countries across the globe with a relentless focus on ensuring that every dollar spent on security provides a meaningful return on investment and reduces cyber risk.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Gaming
Attacks on gaming companies more than double over past year
The State of the Internet report shows gaming companies and gamer accounts are at risk, following a surge in web application attacks post pandemic.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
SaaS
Claroty launches new cloud-based industrial cybersecurity platform
The company says Claroty xDome is the industry's first solution to deliver the ease and scalability of SaaS without compromising on visibility, protection, and monitoring controls.
Story image
Open source
Flashpoint acquires Echosec Systems, elevates OSINT capabilities
Flashpoint has acquired Echosec Systems, a provider of open-source intelligence and publicly available information.
Story image
Neat
Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.
Story image
Firewall
Fortinet unveils compact firewall for hyperscale data centres, 5G networks
"Fortinet’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in security performance has yielded the most powerful compact firewall yet."
Story image
Rubrik
Gartner names Rubrik Leader in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Rubrik has been positioned by Gartner as a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions.
Story image
Web application firewall
Radware recognised in KuppingerCole’s 2022 Leadership Compass report
Radware has been named a Product, Innovation, Market and Overall Leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Web Application Firewalls.
Story image
Ransomware
Ivanti and SentinelOne partner on patch management solution
Ivanti and SentinelOne will integrate their technologies Ivanti Neurons for Patch Management and SentinelOne's Singularity XDR platform.
Story image
Malware
Research shows attacks on the gaming industry are getting worse
Web application attacks in the gaming sector have grown by 167% from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022, according to new research from Akamai.
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.
Story image
Indusface
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner positions Commvault as Leader in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has named Commvault a Leader in its 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions report.
Story image
Government
Mandiant researchers uncover significant new disinformation campaign
Researchers from Mandiant say they have uncovered a significant disinformation campaign from the Chinese Government in the wake of U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
Story image
Dicker Data
Dicker Data brought on as Acronis partner for A/NZ
The news about the partnership comes in as cyber criminals continue to exploit gaps in traditional solutions and strategies in NZ and across the APAC region.
Story image
Phishing
Norton research finds NZ threat landscape diversifying on social media
Norton's quarterly report has highlighted the seriousness of the threat landscape in New Zealand.
Story image
Compliance
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Data Protection
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Alexey Pinchuk joins us today to discuss the role the company plays in helping organisations manage risk and provide better security outcomes.
Story image
Surveillance
Ministry will no longer accept equipment from Chinese firm Hikvision
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says it will no longer accept equipment from a major Chinese surveillance camera maker.
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
Netskope acquires Infiot, delivers integrated SASE platform
Converged SASE platform provides AI-driven zero trust security and simplified, optimised connectivity to any network location or device, including IoT.