One in two connected Argentines suffered at least one cyberattack so far this year

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55% of Argentines connected suffered a malware attack, or malicious software, so far this year, according to a report by the computer security company Kaspersky.

The malicious code reaches computers and smartphones from emails, text messages, USB sticks, social networks and infected websites with the aim of stealing information, especially bank passwords, pins and card numbers. In other cases, they lead to the download of a remote access tool, with which they can enable the front camera, the microphone and explore the disk.

The theft of information and personal data – which can also be used for blackmail – is the most widespread cybercrime. According to a report by the consultancy Juniper Research, by 2020 there will be 5 billion stolen personal data.

In addition, last year, the attack modality called ransomware was extended, which consists of malicious software that infects the computer and encrypts the files and then leaves a message asking for a ransom to release them. The most resounding case was that of Wannacry, which on May 12, 2017 infected at least 141,000 computers worldwide and demanded a ransom of $ 300 in bitcoins to decrypt the files and return them to their rightful owners.

But now also the cybercriminals mine cryptocurrencies remotely installing a malicious malignant not only in computers but also in smartphones. Cryptocurrency mining is a crime when new virtual money is generated through the fraudulent use of third-party computer equipment. The code runs as soon as the device is turned on, causing it to start working on its own.

“There are different ways to undermine the currency, one is through a program of malicious code that is installed violating the operating system, and starts working as a program.When the device is opened the code is running in memory and is loading the processor, “explains Dmitry Bestuzhev, director of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team.

It is also possible that the virtual “miner” is using a third-party computer without having installed software. In that case, the code runs in the browser while the user leaves the infected page open.

How to realize that the machine or the phone is being used to mine cryptocurrency ?: “When the equipment is opened, the processor starts to heat up, the fan turns on, and in the case of smartphones, the battery runs out in a little time, even in new equipment, even in some cases, it becomes deformed, “says Bestuzhev.

The Kaspersky report is based on the statistical information on the detection of attacks on its own clients, in addition to data obtained from different monitors, such as Total Virus, a website that provides free analysis of files and pages. web through antivirus.

With this methodology, they recorded 160 million malware attacks throughout Latin America so far this year. “This figure involves almost 9 malware attacks per second.” We are social 2018 digital global study says that there are 11 new people who start using social media every second in the world, which means that only 2 probably do not receive attacks. ” Analyze the security expert.

“In the countries of the region, attack rates rise to 70% of the population, in the Nordic countries, for example, they do not exceed 3%,” adds Bestuzhev. Venezuela (70.36%), Bolivia (66.3%), Brazil (64.4%) were the three countries with the highest proportion of attacks on the population connected in 2018. With 55%, Argentina is in the position 6 in this ranking.

Android is the main target of malware attacks “because it is the most popular platform in Latin America,” he says. Regarding the way in which viruses and Trojans reach users in Latin America, 61.67% do so through web browsing or the cloud, 22.45% through USB memories (removable), 13.68% of indefinite source and 2.19% by email.