Web threats increase by more than 130% at the end of 2021

Web threats affect everyone and every device connected to the Internet. Web threats enter users’ networks without their knowledge and can be activated by opening spam or clicking on an executable attachment.

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, web threats increased by 133% in November and December 2021, compared to September and October. Additionally, JavaScript downloaders and crypto miners were the most active web threats at the end of 2021.

Web threats reached 59,478 unique malicious URLs in September 2021, resulting in 319,497 total threats. In October, the number continued to increase slightly to 60,440 unique malicious URLs, accumulating 361,184 visits.

November and December combined accumulated 133% more web threats than September and October. November’s 84,470 unique malicious URLs turned into 833,924 total web threats. Additionally, unique malicious URLs were observed in December at 93,999, aggregating 749,956 threats.

Black Friday and Christmas sales in November and December influenced the rapid increase in web threats. Cybercriminals are particularly active during these seasons as they target e-commerce websites to steal customers’ personal information.

Cybersecurity Editor at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis shares his thoughts on web threats:

“The web threat landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Smart devices and high-speed mobile networks have enabled an always-connected route of malware, fraud, and other compromises. The main concern that continues to pose new security and privacy risks is the lack of caution when using the web.

– Most Popular Web Threats

Cybercriminals can use different types of web threats to target user devices.

JavaScript (JS) downloaders were observed to have 61,283 unique malicious URLs, which accumulated 726,372 threats in total from October to December 2021.

Of a total of 628,725 crypto miner threats, 59,550 were unique malicious URLs. Web miners that operate in Internet browsers require substantial CPU resources, which makes computer usage extremely slow.

Then 328,310 web threats were collected from 26,614 unique URLs with web skimmers. JavaScript redirectors accumulated 115,497 web threats, of which 4,097 were unique malicious URLs. Finally, web scams accumulated 86,999 threats in total, of which 15,130 were unique malicious URLs.

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