In 2022, cyberattacks continued to evolve and become more sophisticated, but some of the most popular types of attacks still involved malware, including Trojans, computer viruses, and adware.

Trojans remained the most prevalent type of malware, accounting for 58% of all computer malware. These programs are often disguised as legitimate files or software, and once downloaded and installed they carry out malicious activities without the knowledge or consent of the victim. Trojans can be contracted by downloading and installing malicious software from untrusted websites or sources, clicking on a malicious link in an email or on a website, opening a malicious attachment in an email, using an infected external storage device, or using software with a vulnerability that has been exploited by attackers to deliver the Trojan malware. Last year, Kaspersky detected 1 661 743 malware or unwanted software installers..

Computer viruses also remained a significant threat, spreading by “infecting” other files on a disk or computer and then spreading to other disk drives and machines when the infected files are received in downloads from websites, email attachments, shared drives, or when carried in files on physical media, such as USB drives. The most common ways to contract a computer virus include downloading and running infected files or software from untrusted websites or sources, clicking on malicious links or attachments in email or instant messages, visiting compromised or malicious websites, using infected external storage devices, or opening a malicious attachment in an email or running a pirated or cracked version of the software. In 2022, 75% of organizations experienced malware activity that spread from one employee to another, and 50% of US adults have or had a computer virus. Furthermore, China had the highest malware infection rate globally, with nearly every second computer in the country infected by some form of malware.

Lastly, adware programs automatically deliver advertisements to host computers, often using tracking tools to glean information about the user’s location or browser history. Common ways to contract adware include installing freeware or shareware programs from untrusted websites or sources, downloading and installing software with bundled adware, visiting websites that display pop-up advertisements, clicking on malicious ads or pop-ups on websites, and using infected external storage devices. Adware was the third most common type of malware detected in 2020, accounting for 10% of all detections.

Overall, as the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, it’s important to be aware of the most common types of cyber attacks and take necessary precautions to protect your devices and data from malware infections.