Trojans designed to trawl password and account login information were more rampant on a cybersecurity vendor’s customer networks than last year.

In the first three months of 2021, 25% more password stealer malware have surfaced in the South-east Asia ecosystem of a cybersecurity firm’s customers than in the same period last year.

No. of Trojan password stealers detected in Southeast Asia for Q1 2020 and Q1 2021

Password stealers are a type of malware that steals account information. Similar to banking trojans, the password stealers mine account login information already stored on the computer: usernames and passwords saved in the browser; cookies, and other files that happen to be on the hard drive of the infected device.\

Overall, Kaspersky solutions have blocked 776,684 trojans designed to steal accounts in Q1 2021: 155,942 more incidents compared with last year’s 620,742. While Indonesia and Thailand have registered a slight decrease, the remaining four South-east Asia countries have logged an uptick on password stealers detections.

According to the firm’s General Manager for South-east Asia, Yeo Siang Tiong: “It is known that South-east Asia homes the most active social media users in the world. Especially in Singapore where the digital penetration rate is among the highest in the region at 88.4%, passwords are clearly the first line of defense when it comes to safeguarding our personal and financial data. Hence, it is expected that cybercriminals would be very interested to take over our virtual accounts brimming with financial and confidential data. We urge everyone to strengthen their online locks regularly. Like how we improve our security systems as our houses accumulate more assets, we should also be more thorough in securing our online properties as we store more data in it.”