Malware infections in the UAE decreased slightly in 2020: Kaspersky
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Malware infections in the UAE decreased slightly in 2020: Kaspersky

Malware infections in the UAE decreased slightly in 2020: Kaspersky

Banking trojans rise sharply as Covid-19 boosts e-commerce

The total number of malware infections in the UAE decreased by 5 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, new research by Kaspersky shows.

However, there was an increase of 38 per cent during the second half of 2020 as compared to the first half of 2020. This is probably due to the country and businesses gradually opening up starting the second half of 2020, Kaspersky experts say.

The UAE also saw a significant increase of 57 per cent in banking trojans, which coincides with the global trend that saw an increase of 29 per cent in the same type of attacks. Banking Trojans or ‘bankers’ are one of the most widespread tools for cybercriminals as they focus on stealing money or financial information. Bankers usually search for users’ credentials for e-payment and online banking systems, hijacking one-time passwords and then passing that data to the attackers.

Read: Abu Dhabi based TII teams up with Purdue University on drone cybersecurity project

The statistics show a 58 per cent decrease in ransomware threats in UAE as well as a 42 per cent decrease in crypto-miner infections in the country. This coincides with the global trend, which saw a decrease of 40 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have found new ways of exploiting users, resulting in spikes across different kinds of malware in the GCC. As people work, study, shop, and bank from home, attackers appear to have shifted their focus to the devices they use. Tactics are also evolving to include malicious email attachments and links, downloadable malware, and more.

Dr Fadi Aloul, head of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at American University of Sharjah said Covid-19 has presented new opportunities for exploiting users. “While adjusting to this new normal, it is also important to keep in mind the importance of staying vigilant and informed about various cyber threats.”

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