Dubbed as password stealers, the use of malware designed to infringe upon consumers’ digital data, has seen a spurt of around 60 per cent in the first half of 2019. This has also affected a huge number of users in India as per cyber security firm Kaspersky.
The report also mentions that the malware has targeted users primarily in India, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and the United States. The number of users, targeted by the stealers, has gone up from less than 6,00,000 in the first half of 2018 to over 9,40,000 during the same period this year.
There is a password-stealing ware (PSW) which is a big weapon used by cybercriminals’ toolkit to sabotage users’ privacy. This software targets users’ web browsers using a number of different methods. Very often, this information is quite private and sensitive and it also includes details of the different online accounts and financial information. Hence, saved passwords, auto-fill data, and saved credit card details become extremely vulnerable.
“Modern consumers are increasingly active online and understandably rely on the Internet to carry out many tasks in their daily lives. 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,” Alexander Eremin, a security researcher at Kaspersky, said in a statement.
There are also different versions of this type of malware and they pluck out the browser cookies, user files from a specific location (for example, a user’s desktop) as well as app files, which include messenger services.
In order to combat this threat, the researchers have warned the users against sharing passwords or personal information with even close friends or family as they could unknowingly make them vulnerable to different forums and social media channels.