The was a 23 per cent surge in computer malware infections in Bahrain last year compared with 2019, but banking Trojan attacks dropped by 66pc, it has emerged.

As people started working, studying, shopping and banking from home during the pandemic, cybercriminals found new ways to exploit users of electronic devices.

Tactics included sending malicious email attachments and links, downloadable malware, and more. Left unchecked, malware can cause the infected device to slow down or stop working entirely, delete or steal data, and put the users’ privacy at risk.

However, Bahrain has suffered the least number of Trojan attacks in the region, said Maher Yamout,a senior security researcher at Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company.

“Bahrain showed the steepest drop in banking Trojan attacks, probably reflecting a strong regulatory environment and heightened awareness and preparedness in the country,” he said.

Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) statistics for 2020 showed a 66pc fall in banking Trojan attacks, despite a 29pc increase globally.

The heightened awareness and preparedness have also reduced the instances – and impact – of ransomware, which fell by 6.5pc during 2020.

Bahrain, though, reported a significant rise of 88pc in the crypto-mining malware; this was in marked contrast with the global trend, which saw a 24pc decrease in crypto-miner infections.

To capitalise on the recent spike in the prices of cryptocurrencies, cybercriminals have met this heightened interest with equal force, creativity, and malicious intent.

KSN is a specialised infrastructure designed to process threat information anonymously and transform them into actionable insights.

Last year, the KSN global cyber threats statistics revealed a 29pc increase in banking Trojans, a 40pc decrease in ransomware infections, and a 24pc decrease in crypto-miner infections.

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