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Every 3rd banking malware attack in 2021 is pointed at corporate users

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Every third (37.8 percent) of PC banking malware attacks targeted corporate users in 2021, representing a growth of almost 14 percent since 2018, a new report showed on Monday.

While 2021 saw an expansion in threats to financial organizations on a global scale, there was a continuation of the downward trend of PC and mobile malware previously seen in 2020.

The number of users who encountered PC malware decreased by 35 percent – from 625,364 in 2020 to 405,985 in 2021, according to cyber security firm Kaspersky.

“We have observed cybercriminals actively targeting our corporate users. This is a concerning issue since once a cybercriminal penetrates just one computer in a corporate network, it poses a huge threat not only to the targeted device but to the victim’s colleagues and the organization as a whole,” said Oleg Kupreev, a security expert at Kaspersky.

In 2021, the financial threats landscape witnessed positive changes with the overall number of users affected by malware reduced significantly, including a 35 percent drop in PC malware.

The risk of cyberattacks is far from over, especially for corporate networks.

Between 2020 and 2021, corporate users’ share of banking malware attacks rose by almost 2 percent and increased a significant 13.7 percent points between 2018 and 2021.

What is more, only four malware families were responsible for the attacks on about half of all affected users.

While Zbot maintained its position as the number one used malware among financial cybercriminals, SpyEye surged from the eighth most common banking malware, at a 3.4 percent share in 2020, to the second most common at 12.2 percent last year.

At the same time, Emotet (9.3 percent), described by Europol as “the world’s most dangerous malware”, saw a drop of five percentage points between 2020 and 2021, the report mentioned.

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