PandaLabs: New Malware Creation Hits Record High Numbers in 2013

Malware creation hits record high, Newly detected Ransomware CryptoLocker, DNS poisoning attacks on the rise & Android the most malware-targeted mobile platform.

Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, has just published the results of its Quarterly Report for Q3 2013, drawn up by PandaLabs, the company's anti-malware laboratory. One of the main conclusions that can be drawn from this global study, is that malware creation has hit a new record high, with nearly 10 million new strains identified so far this year. One Fact is, that the number of new malware samples in circulation in just the first nine months of 2013 has already met the 2012 figure for the entire year. Trojan Horses remained the most common threat, accounting for most new threats and infections worldwide.

One of the most notable threats over the past months is CryptoLocker, a new ransomware sample which surfaced in late 2013. It hijacks users’ documents and demands a ransom for them.

Example of CryptoLocker Message
There was also a significant increase in the number of attacks, known as DNS Spoofing. Several large websites hosted in Malaysia fell victim to this type of attack, including the local websites of companies such as Google, Microsoft or even the well known Computer Security Company Kaspersky Labs.

Android continued to be the top target among all mobile platforms, despite some high-profile attacks on iOS, Apple’s operating system.

Cyber-War: NSA remains in the eye of the storm

As far as Cyber Spying is concerned, the United States (Thanks to Ed Snowden from here. GD) took the spotlight off China after revelations emerged about the clandestine PRISM Surveillance Program operated by the NSA (National Security Agency) to obtain user data from major U.S. Cyber Companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, etc.

“Everything seems to indicate that there will be more upcoming revelations about other NSA surveillance programs to indiscriminately spy on users, companies and governments around the world,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

Q3 2013 malware statistics

Trojans once again topped the rankings, accounting for 76.85 % of all new threats identified by PandaLabs, followed by worms, viruses and adware/spyware.

Additionally, Trojans continued to be the weapon of choice for malware writers to infect users’ systems. 78% of all computer infections registered in the third quarter of 2013 were caused by Trojans, followed by viruses (6.63 %), adware/spyware (6.05 %) and worms (5.67 %).

Geographic distribution of malware infections

Latin America remained the most-affected area by malware. In any event, the ‘Top 10’ list of most infected countries includes nations from all over the world, with China at the top with nearly 60 % of all computers infected with Malware, followed by Turkey (46.58 %) and Peru (42.55 %).

At the other end of the chart, Europe continues to have the lowest infection rates. The least infected countries were Netherlands (19.19 %) (Although the highest Concentrate of Malware Lancers, the infamous RBN & others originate from Amsterdam and the U.K. GD), United Kingdom (20.35 %) and Germany (20.60 %). The only non-European country in the Top Ten was Australia, in ninth place with 26.67 %.

The complete quarterly reports are available @ Panda Labs Press Room

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