Linux Malware Sees 35% Growth During 2021

The number of malware infections targeting Linux devices rose by 35% in 2021, most commonly to recruit IoT devices for DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. BleepingComputer reports:

A Crowdstrike report looking into the attack data from 2021 summarizes the following:

- In 2021, there was a 35% rise in malware targeting Linux systems compared to 2020.
- XorDDoS, Mirai, and Mozi were the most prevalent families, accounting for 22% of all Linux-targeting malware attacks observed in 2021.
- Mozi, in particular, had explosive growth in its activity, with ten times more samples circulating in the wild the year that passed compared to the previous one.
- XorDDoS also had a notable year-over-year increase of 123%.
The Crowstrike findings aren’t surprising as they confirm an ongoing trend that emerged in previous years. For example, an Intezer report analyzing 2020 stats found that Linux malware families increased by 40% in 2020 compared to the previous year. In the first six months of 2020, a steep rise of 500% in Golang malware was recorded, showing that malware authors were looking for ways to make their code run on multiple platforms. This programming, and by extension, targeting trend, has already been confirmed in early 2022 cases and is likely to continue unabated.

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