230K+ computer users hit by malware in Q2 2019: Report

230K+ computer users hit by malware in Q2 2019: Report

More than 230,000 users were targeted by malware (malicious software) infection attempts in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Kaspersky IT Threat Evolution Q2 2019 report.

The exact figure of unique users targeted is 232,292, which is 46% more than a year ago, in Q2 2018. The countries with the largest share of attacked users were Bangladesh (9%), Uzbekistan (6%) and Mozambique (4%).

The data showed that attempted malware infections that aim to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 228,206 user computers (6 per cent growth in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018).

Ransomware attacks were found to be most prevalent. Ransomware is a type of malware that's designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. The one that attacked users most often in Q2 2019 was identified as WannaCry (23.4% cases). Another major attacker was GandCrab (13.8% cases).

"The GandCrab case is a good illustration of how effective ransomware can be, with its creators stopping their malicious activity after claiming they made a tremendous amount of money by extorting funds from their victims," said Fedor Sinitsyn, a Kaspersky security researcher in a release. "We expect new actors to replace GandCrab and urge everyone to protect their devices by installing software updates regularly and choosing a reliable security solution."

Kaspersky researchers detected 16,017 new ransomware modifications in Q2 2019 – including ones belonging to eight new malware families, the report said. The increase in malicious modifications and the appearance of new families is a dangerous sign that criminal activity is intensifying, with new malware versions emerging, the report added.