Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

12/12/2019
06:00 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases
50%
50%

Malware Variety Grew by 13.7% in 2019

Growth driven by surge in web skimmers.

Woburn, MA – December 12, 2019 – In 2019, the number of unique malicious objects detected by Kaspersky’s web antivirus solution rose by 13.7%, compared to last year, reaching 24,610,126. The growth was mainly influenced by a 187% rise in web skimmer files. Other threats, such as backdoors and banking Trojans detected in-lab, also grew, while the presence of miners dropped by more than half. These trends demonstrated a shift in the type of threats used by attackers on the web, who search for more effective ways to target users, according to the new Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Statistics of the Year report.

In 2018, unique malicious objects (including scripts, exploits and executable files) detected by Kaspersky’s web antivirus solution totaled 21,643,946, rising to 24,610,126 this year. The growth reflects an increase in the number and variety of HTML pages and scripts with hidden data loading – usually used by unscrupulous advertisers. Yet, most notably, the growth was also partially caused by online skimmers, sometimes referred to as sniffers, where scripts are embedded by attackers in online stores and used to steal users’ credit card data from websites.

The growth of online skimmers’ unique files (scripts and HTML) detected by Kaspersky web antivirus equaled 187%, reaching 510,000. At the same time, the number of threats detected by web antivirus has risen five-fold (by 523%), totaling 2,660,000 in 2019. Web skimmers also entered the top 20 malicious objects detected online, taking 10th place in the overall ranking. The share of new Backdoors and banking Trojan files, among all types of threats detected in-lab, also grew by 134% and 61% to reach 7,644,402 and 739,551 respectively.

Nevertheless, the number of unique malicious URLs detected by Kaspersky web antivirus fell by half (50.5%) in comparison to 2018, from 554,159,621 to 273,782,113. This shift was largely caused by significant decrease of hidden web miners, even though several detections related to them (including Trojan.Script.Miner.gen, Trojan.BAT.Miner.gen, Trojan.JS.Miner.m), can still be seen in the top 20 web malware threats.

The presence of programs that secretly generate cryptocurrency on users’ computers (called ‘local’ miners) has also been steadily declining over the year. The number of users’ computers affected by attempts to install miners dropped by 59%, from 5,638,828 to 2,259,038.

Eighty-five percent of web threats were detected as malicious URLs. This detection name is used to identify links from Kaspersky’s black list. It includes links to web pages containing redirects to exploits, sites with exploits and other malicious programs, botnet command and control centers, extortion websites, and others.

“The volume of online attacks has been growing for years, but in 2019 we saw a clear shift from certain types of attacks that are becoming ineffective, to the ones focused on gaining clear profit from users,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Head of Anti-Malware Research at Kaspersky. “This is partly due to users becoming more aware of the threats and how to avoid them, and organizations steadily becoming more responsible. A good example is miners, which have lost their popularity due to lower profitability and cryptocurrencies’ fight against covert mining. This year we also witnessed growth in zero-day exploits, showing products remain vulnerable and are used by attackers for sophisticated attacks, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.”

 

 

Verdict

%*

1

Malicious URL

85.40%

2

Trojan.Script.Generic

5.89%

3

Trojan.Script.Miner.gen

3.89%

4

Trojan-Clicker.HTML.Iframe.dg

0.65%

5

Trojan.BAT.Miner.gen

0.26%

6

Trojan-Downloader.JS.Inor.a

0.22%

7

Trojan.PDF.Badur.gen

0.21%

8

DangerousObject.Multi.Generic

0.21%

9

Trojan-Downloader.Script.Generic

0.17%

10

Trojan-PSW.Script.Generic

0.15%

11

Trojan.Script.Agent.gen

0.15%

12

Hoax.HTML.FraudLoad.m

0.13%

13

Exploit.Script.Generic

0.08%

14

Trojan.Script.Agent.bg

0.07%

15

Trojan.Multi.Preqw.gen

0.06%

16

Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-11882.gen

0.06%

17

Trojan-Downloader.JS.SLoad.gen

0.05%

18

Hoax.Script.Loss.gen

0.05%

19

Trojan.JS.Miner.m

0.05%

20

Trojan-Downloader.VBS.SLoad.gen

0.04%

* The share of all malware web attacks detected on the computers of users

 

The number of new malicious files processed by Kaspersky’s in-lab detection technologies amounted to 342,102, which is 1.05% less than the previous year.

Read more about annual threat statistics on Securelist.com.

 

The statistics report is part of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2019. To learn more about threat predictions for 2019, read our reports, which are available here.

Story of the year: ransomware vs cities in 2019: 174 and counting and APT review: what the world’s threat actors got up to in 2019 are also available on Securelist.com.

 

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft to Officially End Support for Windows 7, Server 2008
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/13/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7227
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
Westermo MRD-315 1.7.3 and 1.7.4 devices have an information disclosure vulnerability that allows an authenticated remote attacker to retrieve the source code of different functions of the web application via requests that lack certain mandatory parameters. This affects ifaces-diag.asp, system.asp, ...
CVE-2019-15625
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A memory usage vulnerability exists in Trend Micro Password Manager 3.8 that could allow an attacker with access and permissions to the victim's memory processes to extract sensitive information.
CVE-2019-19696
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A RootCA vulnerability found in Trend Micro Password Manager for Windows and macOS exists where the localhost.key of RootCA.crt might be improperly accessed by an unauthorized party and could be used to create malicious self-signed SSL certificates, allowing an attacker to misdirect a user to phishi...
CVE-2019-19697
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
An arbitrary code execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products which could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges and tamper with protected services by disabling or otherwise preventing them to start. An attacker must already have administr...
CVE-2019-20357
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A Persistent Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2020 (v160 and 2019 (v15) consumer familiy of products which could potentially allow an attacker the ability to create a malicious program to escalate privileges and attain persistence on a vulnerable system.