Russia, Brazil, and the United States of America were the countries most impacted by stalkerware last year, according to new research from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.
According to a recent study titled “The State of Stalkerware 2020,” 53,870 Kaspersky users will be affected by malicious surveillance software in 2020.
For the second year running, Russia had the most affected users, with 12.389 victims. Brazil jumped from third to second position in 2020, with 6,523 victims, after coming in third in 2019.
With 4,745, the United States, which was the fourth most impacted nation in 2019, has stepped up to third position. With 4,627 victims, India, which occupied the number two spot in 2019, was a close fourth in 2020.
Mexico, Germany, Iran, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia were all among the top ten nations.
Compared to 2019, the overall number of casualties worldwide dropped by 13,630 in 2020. When lockdown restrictions imposed by several countries around the world to slow the spread of COVID-19 were removed in the second half of 2020, researchers found a spike in the number of casualties.
“We continue to see a high number of users impacted by stalkerware, and we detect new samples every day,” said Victor Chebyshev, Kaspersky’s research development team chief.
With more than 8,100 users globally affected, Nidb was the most used sample of stalkerware in 2020. This sample is used to market items such as iSpyoo, TheTruthSpy, and Copy9 for a variety of different stalkerware products.
According to the Coalition Against Stalkerware, malicious software that allows a remote user to track activities on another user’s computer “can encourage intimate partner surveillance, harassment, bullying, stalking, and/or aggression.”
“It’s important to note that behind all these figures is someone’s real life storey, and sometimes there’s a quiet cry for help. As a result, we’re sharing our experience with the group working to end stalkerware usage in order to gain a deeper understanding of the problem “Chebyshev said.
“It is clear that we all need to share what we discover so that, for the sake of those affected by cyber-violence, we can further enhance identification and security.