Password stealing malware on the rise as 60 percent more users are targeted


Password stealing malware is a key weapon in the cybercriminals' armoury, seeking to grab data directly from users' web browsers using a range of methods.

According to new data from Kaspersky, the number of users, targeted by password stealers, has peaked from less than 600,000 in the first half of 2018 to over 940,000 during the same period in 2019.

Over the past six months, Kaspersky has detected high levels of activity by the stealers in Europe and Asia. Most frequently, the malware has targeted users in Russia, India, Brazil, Germany and the USA.

One of the most widely spread stealer Trojans is AZORult, detected on the computers of more than 25 percent of all users who encountered Trojan password stealing-type malware in the examined period.

"Modern consumers are increasingly active online and understandably rely on the internet to carry out many tasks in their daily lives," says Alexander Eremin, security researcher at Kaspersky. "This fills their digital profiles with more and more data and details and makes them a lucrative target for criminals as they could be monetized in numerous ways afterwards. By securely storing passwords and credentials, consumers can use their favorite online services in confidence that their information will not be put at risk. This should be also supported by installation of security solution as one can never be too careful."

Kaspersky recommends not sharing passwords or personal information with friends or family as this could unwittingly make them vulnerable to malware, and being careful on what you post on forums or social media channels. Users should also install the latest updates and product patches to ensure protection from the latest malware and threats, and use a reputable security solution.

You can find out more on the Kaspersky SecureList blog.

Photo credit: Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

23 Responses to Password stealing malware on the rise as 60 percent more users are targeted

  1. J. Zehlicke says:

    thank god passwords are a think of the past.

    • MJ says:

      Biometric security has its own set of issues as well.

    • Adrian S says:

      Oh yeah, but how far in the future do we need to go for you to say that?
      Not that I have any problems with passwords.

      • J. Zehlicke says:

        I have problems with passwords. I have thousands of passwords to remember.

      • neo wales says:

        Thousands of passwords lol, don't be silly, you don't have thousands, think about it, how many do you really have, couple of dozen?

      • J. Zehlicke says:

        I have 93 active at the moment and 120 I don't use any more. Good luck if you can remember all those usernames+ passwords including capital letters, symbols etc.

      • neo wales says:

        So not thousands then. Write them down on a piece of paper and keep safely at home. The odds of someone entering your home and finding your well hidden bit of paper must be in the millions to one. I have done this (trust me, you won't find the paper) and store them as encrypted files on various backup options. On a lot of junk sites like this one I just stay logged in.

      • J. Zehlicke says:

        happy you not happy me.

      • Adrian S says:

        Stay logged in? Never do that, my computer is set to erase all history on shut down anyway.

      • neo wales says:

        If someone got passed our home security and stole all the computers or if I lost or had stolen one of portable devices I don't think much harm would arise by them going to a Land Rover forum, watch collector forum, this forum, travel forum, cooking forum et al

        I do clear my history from time to time but that it, history can be handy with your searches.

      • Adrian S says:

        you use your computer the way you want to.

      • LordJerry says:

        Why not use lastpass?

      • J. Zehlicke says:

        why not get rid of passwords to start with?

      • Adrian S says:

        Not sure about that. Not sure how i would log into the handset at work. I do have a barcode, which I printed out with my user name as it is so flipping long, so I do a quick zap and it is in, but I will not do that with the password.

      • Adrian S says:

        i use that, I must admit I was a bit worried about using it to start with, but it have been fine so far and it have been a few years since I started to use it.

      • Adrian S says:

        That is the problem with passwords, remembering them all.

      • J. Zehlicke says:

        No one remembers them all. And to top it all some sites make me change password every 6 months... an unsafe practice... but I cannot do anything about it. Non-tech people end up storing passwords in unsafe ways which defeats the purpose of passwords.

      • Adrian S says:

        Oh yes the constant changing is annoying at work, because we use Microsoft sharepoint/office 365, I thought MS have stopped that, but went to sign in on tuesday and there it was, you must change your password.

  2. Adrian S says:

    According to what we hear, windows 10 is secure, it defender, windows security centre, what ever name Ms decides to be the flavour of the month is suppose to stop all this, if so , then how can these malware be on the wise, since the usage of Windows 10 is rising?
    so are we being told bull once a again by, oh I don't know, Micrsoft?

    Not that I would really trust Kaspersky either to be honest.

    People just need to be more careful.

    • neo wales says:

      How many times has MS changed the name of its security programme? Malware is on the rise because of an increase in hackers trying to get into your system, its not rocket science to understand that and as the total 'hits' are less than one million I'm not loosing sleep over the increase.

      • Adrian S says:

        i don't know how many times, but they seem to do it a few times.
        Malware is on the rise because people do stupid things.

  3. neo wales says:

    940000 worldwide? Not even a blip on the radar really.

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