With back to school time upon us, researchers at Kaspersky have found an increase in malware that targets students who are looking for textbooks and essays. In the previous school year, over 356,000 instances were tracked that targeted students. Of these, 233,000 malware detections were disguised as essays that claimed over 74,000 victims. 122,000 were disguised at textbooks that were downloaded by 30,000 users. The four most popular malware types are Worm.Win32 Stalk.a, Win32.Agent.ifdx malware downloader, WinLNK.Agent.gen downloader, and MediaGet downloader. The most targeted textbooks were English textbooks with 2,080 attempted downloads, and math textbooks with 1,213 attempted downloads. These tactics are already being seen for the new school year and on the rise. Malware developers are attempting to entice students to download these malicious versions by claiming that they have the textbooks at a highly discounted rate. If a user downloads the study material, the four main types of malware have the capability of delivering adware, cryptominers, spyware, banking trojans, and in severe cases, ransomware that has the capability of infecting the school’s servers.
By Akshay Rohatgi and Randy Pargman About this Student Research Project Binary Defense’s mission is