Malware: an explosion of malware, smartphones particularly affected

Written by Guillaume
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This article is an automatic translation

While Windows has often been presented as a "sieve", the most recent malware affects Microsoft's system as well as macOS or smartphones.

Malwarebytes is a well-known company in the world of cybersecurity, and has made a specialty of identifying and tracking down all malware, which, unfortunately, does not seem to be taking any time off. On the contrary, the latest study published by Malwarebytes confirms that the threat has never been as present as it is in the year 2021. If there is one area that seems to be in slight decline compared to 2020 - ransomware - for the rest it is a dramatic increase in threats that is recorded.

Between 2020 and 2021, Malwarebytes estimates that the overall increase in identified online threats is 77%. Of course, as always, individuals - often less well informed - are a prime target, but we should not believe that companies are safe. This is the message of Malwarebytes, which estimates that the number of attacks in companies has doubled over the past year, from 20 million in 2020 to over 40 million in 2021. Figures that take into account the company in the broad sense and concerns the whole world.

Malwarebytes also warns the world of cryptomining. Despite prices that have been on the ups and downs for several months already, the value of cryptocurrencies remains very high and obviously attracts the covetousness of many malicious individuals: the company mentions an increase of 300% on cryptomining attacks between 2020 and 2021. As we said, only the ransomware sector seems to be losing momentum with a 38% drop in attacks observed in 2021 compared to 2020, but let's not forget that the latter year had set a kind of record.

Moreover, Malwarebytes points out that if the number of attacks of this type is decreasing, their virulence is much higher and take the example of the LAPSUS$ group that recently attacked several South American institutions before attacking companies as important as NVIDIA, Samsung, Ubisoft or, recently, Microsoft.

Finally, Malwarebytes takes stock of the affected systems in order to dispel the myth that Windows is the only operating system affected. Of course, Microsoft's OS remains a prime target, as evidenced by the identification of more than 150 million malware on Windows in 2021, 60 million more than in 2020. The fact remains that there was finally more malware identified targeting macOS: we are talking about 170 million malware in 2021 against "only" 75 million in 2020.

Finally, and this is undoubtedly a point not to be overlooked, the smartphone is sometimes perceived as more secure by some users who do not imagine that malware thrives there. However, this is indeed the case, and has been for the past two years in particular. Thus, in 2020 the increase in the number of spyware detected is 1,600% compared to 2019. Last year, the progression slowed down, but there is still talk of +7.2% of spyware detected in 2021. More than ever, it is therefore important to protect your smartphone as much as your computer and not to install anything and everything, believe any email more or less carrying a "good surprise".