The number of users that encountered malware, capable of stealing money or valuable financial information, reached 3,19,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016 globally -- 22.49 per cent more than in the same period in 2015, global internet security giant Kaspersky Lab reported on Monday.
An increase in the number of attacks was spotted during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and during Christmas period.
Kaspersky Lab researchers conducted a retrospective look at the cyber threats landscape during the holiday period (October, November and December).
"Financial malware attacks are on the rise again and all their targets from owners and clients of e-shops, to credit card holders and banks should be aware of the dangers and take adequate steps to stay safe," said Oleg Kupreev, Security Expert, Kaspersky Lab, in a statement.
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In November, Kaspersky Lab protection technologies detected a clear spike in the number of users attacked and on November 28 (Cyber Monday), there were twice as many users attacked than during the previous day.
When it comes to Black Friday and Christmas periods, the pattern is different, with the spikes in attack dynamics occurring one or two days prior to the actual holiday dates.
"Unlike Black Friday and Christmas, Cyber Monday is all about online sales, thus attackers see more sense in focusing their malicious campaigns on this particular date," the report noted.
Zbot, Nymaim, Shiotob, Gozi and Neurevt trojan malware were responsible for attacks against 92.35 per cent of users in the holiday period.