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Black Friday saw a huge jump in malware attacks

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As expected, cybersecurity (opens in new tab) researchers have reported a massive increase in malware (opens in new tab) attacks over the Black Friday (opens in new tab) weekend, with the number of websites attacked 50 times a day registering a jump of over 300%.

Crunching the numbers collected by Capture Labs (opens in new tab), analysts at VPN (opens in new tab) provider  Surfshark (opens in new tab) noticed that the attacks on websites grew from 15 million at the start of November to 60 million on Black Friday.

“The number of websites attacked 50 times a day by hackers grew by 10% in the first two weeks of November compared to October. Sharp jumps started with a 30% increase in cyber-attacks on Singles day, and peaked with a 300% spike in malware attacks on Black Friday,” the company noted.

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Interestingly, the number returned to their pre-Black Friday levels on Cyber Monday (opens in new tab).

Brace for impact

Citing United States Census Bureau data, Surfshark says that people in the US spent around $6.5 billion more on Black Friday than any other day of 2021. In the overall scheme of things, even though shoppers spent around $100 million less this year than in 2020,  cyber threats showed an opposite tendency.

Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark says that scammers hope to capitalize on the shopping frenzy to run all sorts of malicious ecommerce (opens in new tab) campaigns in order to facilitate credit card (opens in new tab) theft.

He adds that going by the trend that scammers become active during annual shopping sprees, users should remain cautious during the upcoming Christmas holidays. 

Interestingly, the analysts note that intrusion attacks actually registered a decrease of 15% on Black Friday, suggesting that the attackers shift from attempting direct break-ins to the use of malware depending on the event and peoples' behavior. 

Meanwhile, if you are concerned about online security, use these best password managers (opens in new tab) to securely lock your accounts, and perhaps even use one of these best security keys (opens in new tab) to add another layer of protection

Mayank Sharma
Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.