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Over 100 Million Malware Infections Detected on Windows in 2020



Cyber Security - Investors King

Malware, a malicious software designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system, is one of the most common cyber threats computer users face today. While malware can affect any operating system, Windows users are among the most vulnerable.

According to the data analyzed by the Atlas VPN team and based on the State of Malware report by Malwarebytes, in 2020 alone, devices with Windows operating systems were affected by over 111 million malware infections.

Out of all of the Windows malware threats detected last year, 83% or nearly 92.3 million were found on consumer devices, while 15% or 16.7 million were discovered on business devices. The remaining 2% of the malware cases were unspecified.

Despite the impressive number of Windows malware detections in 2020, such threats actually dropped by 12% compared to 2019.

Malware infections affecting consumer devices fell by 11%, from 103.5 million in 2019 to 92.3 million in 2020. As workers traded their corporate offices for home ones, business device infections decreased by 24%, from 22 million in 2019 to 16.7 million in 2020.

The decline in malware infections might signify that cybercriminals have found other more effective methods to exploit victims online.

HackTool is the fastest rising malware threat

In 2020, we saw a fall in malware infections affecting Windows operating systems. However, despite a general decline, certain types of malware thrived last year.

HackTool, a type of malware used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to a user’s computer, saw the biggest increase in new cases detected on Windows last year when compared to 2019. Infections with HackTool spiked by 150%, from 7.4 million to 18.4 million in a single year.

Businesses experienced the most significant rise in HackTool detections last year. In total, 2.6 million Windows HackTool infections were found on business devices in 2020 — a 173% growth from 937.9 thousand cases in 2019.

In the meantime, consumer devices were affected by 15.9 million HackTool infections last year. It represents a 147% growth from 6.4 million such cases in 2019.

Other malware types that saw a surge last year include Rogue (117%) and Spyware (28%), which help criminals track and collect information on the victim.

However, the most common Windows malware threat last year was adware —  software that displays unwanted advertisements on people’s computers. It accounted for 32% or 35.5 million Windows malware cases in 2020, a 22% drop from 45.7 million in 2019.

Windows adware threats were the most prevalent on consumer devices, where 31.5 million adware infections were recorded last year. Simultaneously, businesses had close to 4 million infections with adware malware in 2020.

Trojan malware, which disguises itself as legitimate software and helps hackers take control of the infected computer, also continued to plague Windows operating systems in 2020.

In total, 29.9 million Trojan infections were detected on devices running Windows, which made up 27% of all such infections last year. However, compared to 2019, when 38.5 million Trojan cases were discovered, Trojan infections dropped by nearly 23%.

While 23.7 million Trojan infections affected consumers, 6.1 million infections targeted businesses. In fact, Trojan was the most common malware threat faced by businesses last year.

How to guard against malware

Malware is one of the most common threats. As such, it is easy to catch, while its repercussions can be devastating. However, there are a few things you can do that can help you protect your devices from malware.

  1. Keep your software up to date. Updated software contains all the latest security patches making it harder for cybercriminals to exploit system vulnerabilities.
  2. Be careful about your downloads. Downloads are one of the main ways to spread malware. Therefore, before pulling a file from the internet, always ask yourself two questions: do you really need it, and do you trust the website or the person you are about to download the file from.
  3. Do not click on suspicious links. Never click on pop-ups and links you are unsure of. They may lead to malicious websites that can install malware on your device.
  4. Limit file-sharing. Be wary of file sharing sites as they offer little protection against malware, which might be hiding in files, such as movies, games, and other programs.
  5. Use a VPN. Virtual private networks, such as Atlas VPN, have security features in place that block malicious ads and protect you from entering unsafe websites. This way, you have less chance of cashing unwanted viruses while online.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Apple Unveils Its First Virtual Reality Headset to be Launched Next Year

Tech giant Apple has unveiled its first major product in almost a decade, a new $3,5000 virtual reality headset that will be launched to consumers in early 2024.




Tech giant Apple has unveiled its first major product in almost a decade, a new $3,5000 virtual reality headset that will be launched to consumers in early 2024.

The headset which has reportedly been in development for seven years, is intended to overlay virtual reality experiences and digital apps onto the real world.

Announcing the Apple Vision Pro Virtual reality headset at the annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in Cupertino, the company’s CEO Tim Cook said, “It is the first Apple product you look through not at”.

The Apple Vision Pro is a wearable headset that creates an augmented reality experience with everything from work meetings and meditation to movies and games.

It can also be used for work with video conferencing apps, Microsoft Office tools, or Adobe Lightroom.  While wearing the headset, users can browse by looking or making hand gestures.

The Vision Pro will run on visionOS, a new spatial computing platform designed specifically for the company’s new headset to enable developers to build apps as they would for iOS on the iPhone.

Investors King understands that the unveiling of the Vision Pro reality headset marks the first major product launch for Apple since the Apple Watch in 2015.

But it’s unclear how large the demand is for the headset. However, a Bloomberg analysis estimates that the product will generate the company $1.5 billion U.S. in sales, or 0.5 percent of the company’s revenue base.

Also, industry experts say that while some might be skeptical about the adoption of the product, it can take time for new devices to find their place in the market.

Apple’s reality headset unveiling comes days after social media giant Meta announced its new virtual and mixed reality headset, Meta Quest 3, set to launch later this year. The Vision Pro introduces Apple as a new competitor in the virtual reality market.

It is understood that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook have been public adversaries for years on issues central to the tech industry.

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Health Tech Startup Helium Health Secures $30 Million in Funding to Expand Offering in Africa

Nigerian health tech startup Helium Health has secured $30 million in series B funding to expand its offering across Africa.



Nigerian health tech startup Helium Health has secured $30 million in series B funding to expand its offering across Africa.

The funding round was led by AXA IM Alts, with participation from Capria Ventures, Angaza Capital, Anne Wojcicki, and Flatworld partners. Other existing investors that participated in the round include Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceuticals, LCY Group, WTI, and AAIC.

With the recent funds raised, Helium Health seeks to expand the reach of its fintech product Helium Credit, which is one of the leading digital finance products for Africa’s healthcare sector.

Speaking on the recent funds raised, Helium Health CEO and Co-founder Adegoke Olubusi said, “We believe in a future where good healthcare is a reality for Africans, not just a few. We are deeply committed to supporting both private healthcare providers and public health stakeholders with finance, technology, and data to achieve that vision. We are delighted to have such seasoned healthcare investors accompany us on our journey”.

Also commenting on the funding round, Helium Health lead investor AXA IM Alts through the head of impact investing Jonathan Dean said, “We are delighted to invest, through AXA IM Alts’ impact investing strategies, in ‘Helium Health’s mission of providing digital solutions to improve the quality and efficacy of health services in resource-constrained environments, whilst also directly equipping health sector enterprises with affordable financial services. This investment directly contributes to AXA IM Alts’ broader impact goals of improving financial inclusion and reducing inequalities globally.”

Launched in 2020, Helium Health has extended more than $3.5 million in credit to over 200 healthcare facilities in Nigeria, including pharmacies, diagnostics centers, Hospitals, and Clinics, which have used the loans to purchase medical equipment and medications in bulk and also expand their locations.

The health tech startup works with leading global health organizations and governments, supporting them to execute their strategies, informing policy and decision-making, and improving outcomes for us all. The YC-backed HealthTech startup claims to be the widest-reaching EMR platform in West Africa, used by over 10,000 health workers across 1,000 facilities to care for over 1 million African patients, Investors King understands.

Since Helium’s health series A investment, it has grown its credit from $250,000 to a handful of healthcare facilities to more than $3.5 million across 200+ healthcare facilities in Nigeria.

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Network Service Providers in Nigeria Lose Millions of Voice Subscribers as Broadband Penetration Drops

Network service providers in Nigeria have reportedly lost about 2.5 million voice subscribers as broadband internet penetration declines.




Network service providers in Nigeria have reportedly lost about 2.5 million voice subscribers as broadband internet penetration declines.

The significant increase which was recorded in the country’s telecom sector this year seems not to have been sustained after it saw a slight downward trajectory.

The sector which recorded 227.1 million subscribers in February, fell to 226.2 million in March which saw about 1.5 million subscribers SIM become inactive. The downward trend continued to March falling to 223.7 million subscribers.

Reports reveal that the decline in subscribers negatively impacted the country’s tele density which saw it fall from 118.4 percent in March to 117.1 percent by the end of April. Also, penetration in the broadband segment declined from 48.21 percent to 48.14 percent.

Meanwhile, Internet users on the narrow band (GSM) platform increased by 678,485, where operators moved from 156.9 million in March to 157.6 million by April.

On active voice subscriptions, MTN has continued to lead as it recorded 39.7 percent penetration and 88.6 million users, while Globacom had a 27.3 percent market share with 60.3 million users. Airtel occupied the third position with 60.3 million customers and 27 percent penetration, and 9mobile had 13.4 million users and 6% penetration.

Investors King understands that the decline in voice subscribers in the telco sector could be attributed to the cash crunch that ravaged the country between February and March. This was a fallout of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) policies on naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit, targeted at boosting the country’s cashless policy.

Nigeria, through the New National Broadband Plan (2020 to 2025) hopes to deepen internet penetration in the country by 70 percent, however, with the decline of voice subscribers recorded, it has posed a challenge to the country’s broadband plan.

In order to ensure to meet up its national broadband plan, Nigeria must ensure to eliminate factors that could hamper the penetration of internet service in the country, as it could also affect the nation’s GDP, as Broadband penetration is directly proportional to GDP.

A 2009 report by the World Bank estimated that for every 10% increase in broadband in developed nations, GDP will grow by more than 1%.

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