Cyber threats on the rise: 411,000 malicious files distributed daily by 2023

07/12/2023
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In 2023, Kaspersky's detection systems detected an average of 411,000 malicious files per day. This is an increase of almost 3 per cent compared to the previous year. Certain types of threats also escalated: experts saw a marked 53 per cent increase in attacks involving malicious documents, including Microsoft Office documents. Attackers tended towards more dangerous tactics, such as using backdoors to infiltrate systems undetected. These insights, detailed in the Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Statistics of the Year Report, underscore the changing landscape of cyber threats.

In 2023, Kaspersky's systems detected a total of nearly 125 million malicious files. The primary target for cyber attacks remained Windows with 88 per cent of all daily detected data full of malware. Malicious families distributed via various scripts and different document formats were in the top three threats, accounting for 10 per cent of all malicious files detected daily.

Kaspersky's detection systems detected a significant daily increase in malicious files in various document formats such as Microsoft Office, PDF, etc. by 53 per cent to around 24,000 files. The growth may be related to an increase in attacks using phishing PDF files designed to steal data from potential victims.

The most widespread type of malware remains trojans. This year sees a notable increase in the use of backdoors, growing from 15,000 files detected per day in 2022 to 40,000 in 2023. Backdoors are one of the most dangerous types of trojans because they give remote attackers control over a victim's system. They perform tasks such as sending, receiving, executing and deleting files, as well as collecting confidential data and logging computer activity.

"The landscape of cyber threats continues to evolve and becomes more dangerous year by year. Threatsters continue to develop new malware, techniques and methods to attack organisations and individuals. The number of reported vulnerabilities is also increasing every year, and threat actors, including ransomware gangs, take advantage of this without hesitation. Moreover, the barrier to entry into cybercrime is getting lower and lower with the spread of AI, which attackers use, for example, to craft phishing messages with more convincing texts. In these times, it is essential for both large organisations and every ordinary user to embrace reliable security solutions," said Vladimir Kuskov, Head of Anti-Malware Research at Kaspersky.

The discoveries are based on Kaspersky detections of malicious files from January to October and are part of Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) - an annual series of predictions and analytical reports on key shifts within the cybersecurity world. More information on other KSB pieces can be found here.

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