Guest Post Atlas VPN Study Reveals That Consumer Threats Jumped By 83% In 2020

According to an Atlas VPN analysis, consumer threats jumped by 82.84% in 2020. The most concerning fact is that a few extremely dangerous and multi-purpose malware types sky-rocketed to never-before-seen heights.  For example, malicious software detections called Dridex soared by 1,890%. It is a form of malware that specializes in stealing bank credentials via macros from Microsoft Word.   

Cybersecurity researcher and publisher at Atlas VPN, Edward Garb, shares his thoughts on the consumer threat landscape: “It is essential to stay up-to-date on what is happening in the cybercrime landscape. If you know what threats are currently booming, then you know what to watch out for. As many people started to WFH, they opened up many new pathways for fraudsters, so cybersecurity knowledge has never been as important as today.

Screenlockers grew in popularity by 312%, from 210 thousand detections in 2019 to 867 thousand in 2020.  Here, users either encounter a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or a warning that they have been using illegal software and need to enter a registration key to unlock their computer.  

Somewhere on the screen, the victims see a phone number or a link that they can follow to contact the support team that will supposedly help them solve the problem. In fact, they usually solve the issue, but they hide the fact that their malware caused the problem. Of course, the solution is paid and overpriced. 

Next up is Glupteba, a malware type first detected in 2019, which exploded in popularity from 406 detections in 2019 to 840,754 in 2020, amounting to a 206,982% increase. Glupteba is one of those dangerous, multi-purpose malware families that we mentioned earlier. In short, Glupteba is a software bot that can be controlled from afar by the hackers who wrote it.  

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