password stealers
(Source: Shutterstock)

Kaspersky reported there’s a 25% increase of password stealers targeting Southeast Asia (SEA) users as of the first quarter of 2021.

Password stealers are a type of malware that steals account information. It’s is similar to a banking Trojan, but instead of intercepting entered data, it usually steals information already stored on the computer. This includes usernames and passwords saved in the browser, cookies, and other files that are on the hard drive of the infected device.

Kaspersky password stealers in SEA
Number of Trojan password stealers detected in Southeast Asia for Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. (Source: Kaspersky)

All SEA countries except Indonesia and Thailand received an increase in attempts of password stealing. Singapore took the lead at 79% followed by Malaysia at 61%.

As for the Philippines, there are over 10,000 password stealers detected and intercepted by Kaspersky in Q1 2021 versus 45,373 in Q1 2020.

Lessons from The Three Little Pigs

Three Little Pigs and your passwords
(Source: Kaspersky)

To prevent from becoming a victim of password-stealing, Kaspersky features the “Three Little Pigs.” This classic tale can explain the concept behind a brute-force attack.

The tree pigs select a hardware solution to protect against cyber threats, which appears to be some kind of Internet gateway. The first chooses a device made of straw (cheap and unreliable), the second opt for wood (more reliable, but still not great), and the third puts up a real firewall made of stones.

Now take the wolf in the fairy tale as a fairly low-skilled hacker. His approach to the information infrastructure of each little pig is to attack it with the only tool available to him. That is through blowing, which will take as an analogy to brute-force hacking. In cybersecurity, cracking passwords apply to brute force methods.

The tale shows that this technique can indeed be effective when the target doesn’t pay much attention to cybersecurity: The first two porcine huts cannot withstand the brute-force attack, and the attacker gets inside. But with the third, he encounters problems.

Even cybersecurity-wise, the tale also conveys a message that using weak passwords is a recipe for disaster. For this reason, Kaspersky offers simple tips and tools to protect oneself:

  • Check the strength of your current passwords. Kaspersky has a free tool to help you with this
  • Use Have I Been Pwned, to see if your passwords have been leaked
  • Update your password regularly, at least every 90 days. A password manager can assist you in remembering them
  • Set up two-factor authentication. If your login and password was stolen, they will not be enough to access your account
  • Only download apps from trusted sources
  • Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Total Security. It will be able to identify stealers and stop them from stealing your data.

Kaspersky’s limited offer for Filipinos to secure their devices

Free e-gift vouchers (choice of Grab, GCash or PayMaya) are up for grabs for every purchase of:

  • Kaspersky Total Security (valid for 1 year for 1 device) or
  • Kaspersky Internet Security (valid for 1 or 2 years for 1, 3, or 5 devices)

Participating Kaspersky products are available from official partner stores in Metro Manila, official partner e-stores and via Shopee and Lazada. Promo runs from May 29 to June 30, 2021.

Check the complete list of participating stores and information about the promo by visiting this link.

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