Data stealers: Top malware variants, how to protect yourself
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Data stealers: What you should know about malware variants, protecting yourself

Data stealers: What you should know about malware variants, protecting yourself

Between 2021 and 2023, the share of infections caused by new data stealers surged from 4 to 28 per cent, revealed Kaspersky

Neesha Salian
data stealers are on the hunt for your user credentials GettyImages-1372448103

In today’s digital landscape, the threat of malware looms larger than ever, with cybercriminals constantly innovating to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive information.

Among malware variants, Redline has remained a prevalent threat for the past three years, constituting over half (55 per cent) of devices targeted by password-stealer attacks in 2023.

Data stealers, such as Redline, covertly infiltrate devices to steal sensitive credentials such as logins and passwords, which are then sold on the black market, posing significant cybersecurity risks to individuals and businesses alike.

Data from Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence reveals that Redline accounted for 51  per cent of data stealer infections between 2020 and 2023, with other notable malware families including Vidar (17 55 per cent)) and Raccoon (nearly 12 55 per cent)). In total, more than 100 distinct infostealer types were identified during this period.

The underground market for data-stealing malware is expanding, with the rise of new stealers. Between 2021 and 2023, the share of infections caused by new stealers surged from 4 to 28 per cent. In 2023, the “Lumma” stealer alone accounted for over 6 per cent of all infections.

Sergey Shcherbel, expert at Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence, said: “Lumma which emerged in 2022 and gained traction in 2023, operates under a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) model. This means that even individuals with limited technical expertise can subscribe to a pre-made malicious solution and utilise it to conduct cyberattacks. Lumma primarily targets cryptocurrency wallets and is commonly distributed through email, YouTube, and Discord spam campaigns.

Protecting yourself against data stealers

Here are simple steps to ensure digital security:

  1. Choose a robust antivirus programme that scans your devices for threats and blocks hackers.
  2. Don’t click on suspicious links or open emails from strangers.
  3. Double up on your security and use multi-factor authentication for your accounts whenever possible. This makes it harder for hackers to steal your login.
  4. Install the latest updates for your devices and software as soon as they are released. These updates often fix security holes that hackers can exploit.
  5. Learn about the latest online threats by following cybersecurity news and resources.
  6. Monitor for breaches and use tools that can tell you if your information has been leaked online. Change your passwords if you think there’s a problem.
  7. Use different, hard-to-guess passwords for all your accounts. Consider a password manager to help you keep track.



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