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Falling victim to malware attacks

A government agency that monitors cyber attacks posted the warning last week and updated it on Monday.

A government agency that monitors cyber attacks posted the warning last week and updated it on Monday.

Published Oct 10, 2013


Johannesburg - Malware attacks mean financial losses for about 36 percent of users – with many people forced to pay to restore damaged devices to working order.

This figure emerged from the recent 2013 global survey conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab.

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It is widely but wrongly believed that malware causes no problems beyond slowing down a computer and possibly crashing certain websites.

The truth is that malware attacks have long been costing users cold, hard cash: for example, a fraudster may steal all a victim’s savings with a single successful attack on e-payment or e-banking accounts. Even users who fall victim to “ordinary” malware, rather than its cash-hungry cousins, are still likely to face unforeseen expenses.

Seventeen percent of respondents said that these costs involved paying for third party expertise to restore the victim’s device to working order. About 10 percent had to pay to recover lost data, while nine percent had to replace damaged components and five percent needed an entirely new device.

More than a quarter of all respondents (27 percent) had suffered at least one malware attack in the past 12 months. It’s a significant figure, but not a surprising one: Kaspersky Lab specialists detect more than 200 000 samples of malicious software every day (as little as a year ago this figure was much lower at 125 000 malware samples per day).

A substantial number of users, 11 percent, only opted to buy protection after it was too late and they had already succumbed to attack. In the best case scenario this disrupted work on the device; in the worst cases the attacks left users out of pocket.

The survey results reinforce the fact that it is essential to ensure that online devices are protected – long before any problems might arise. And with so many effective products on today’s market, there’s no excuse to wait until it’s too late.

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