Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a worrying trend in its IT threat evolution Q1 2019 report.

That trend is that banking malware designed to steal credentials and ultimately funds from bank accounts grew an alarming 58 percent in Q1 2019.

During that quarter, researchers found 29 841 files of such malware, up from 18 501 in Q4 2018. Overall, attacks on more than 300 000 users were detected.

The main culprit according to Kaspersky Lab is banking trojans with 30 000 modded banking trojans being found during the quarter.

As many as 58.4 percent of attacks came from a new version of the Asacub malware.

“Asacub first appeared in 2015. The attackers spent two years perfecting its distribution scheme and, as a result, the malware peaked in 2018, when it attacked 13,000 users a day. Since then, its rate of spreading has closed down, although it remains a powerful threat: in Q1 2019, Kaspersky Lab detected Asacub targeting on average 8,200 users a day,” the firm wrote in a press statement.

They add that mobile banking trojans currently account for 3.24 percent of all mobile malware.

“The rapid rise of mobile financial malware is a troubling sign, especially since we see how criminals are perfecting their distribution mechanisms. For example, a recent tendency is to hide the banking Trojan in a dropper – the shell that is supposed to fly to the device under the security radar, releasing the malicious part only upon arrival,” explains Victor Chebyshev, a researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

The firm advises users only install applications from trusted sources such as an app store. In terms of mobile, users should be aware of what permissions an application asks for.

Stay safe out there folks.

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