2009 Broke Malware Records

By: Absolute Team | 1/13/2010

A new report from PandaLabs indicates, without much surprise, that 2009 broke records for malware. 2009 saw over 25 million new strains of malware created through the year. The company now tracks a knowledge base of 40 million malware samples with an average of 55,000 new examples each day. If you do the math, you'll see that 2009 created 25 million malware, while the remaining 15 million in the PandaLabs database were from the previous 19 years. That's a huge increase!!

“Cybercriminals have figured out that they can saturate anti-virus labs by creating millions of samples,” Correll [PandaLabs researcher] said to SC Magazine. “By doing that they can slow down the response times and their infection ratio would be more successful.”

Details from the study:

  • Banker trojans and fake anti-virus messages were the most prolific types of malware
  • Cybercriminals favored social networking sites to spread malicious code
  • Politically-motivated cyber-attacks increased in 2009 (interesting!)
  • 92% of email traffic was spam
  • Viruses were only third in terms of malware (6.61%)
  • The countries with the most infections were Taiwan, Russia and Poland

View the rest of the report here [PDF]. The company predicts that the malware trend will only grow for 2010 - will be interesting to see how far above the 25 million new malware threats that the year will see. A great reminder to keep your software up-to-date so you always have the latest security patches!

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