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Malware creation on the rise

by Brian Sims

Panda Security has reported that malware creation reached record levels in the second quarter of the year. The company’s Quarterly Report for Q2 2013, drawn up by PandaLabs, said that Trojans continued to account for most infections, and shows a worrying increase in malware targeting the Android platform. According to PandaLabs, Trojans continue to be the most popular threat, accounting for 77.2 per cent of all new malware created and 79.70 per cent of malware infections; that is, almost eight in ten users are infected with a Trojan. Another interesting fact is that the amount of new malware samples continues to rise. In the second quarter of 2013, 12 per cent more malware was created than in the same period last year, and when the data for the first and second quarters of 2013 is taken together, the increase on 2012 reaches 17 per cent. Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs explains:” Cyber-criminals use Trojans as a key tool to infect users, continually introducing changes to avoid detection and in many cases, automating the process of changing the Trojan. They use scripts and special tools in order to change the binaries run on victims’ computers to evade the signature-based detection used by antivirus firms.” Analysing all infections around the world, the numbers are similar to those for the new malware samples created: Trojans (79.70 per cent), viruses (6.71 per cent) and worms (6.06 per cent). In the second quarter of 2013, the global infection ratio was 32.77 per cent, which was up on the first quarter (31.13 per cent). As for the data for individual countries, China once again topped the table (52.36 per cent), followed by Turkey (43.59 per cent) and Peru (42.14 per cent). On the other end of the spectrum, Europe continues to have the lowest infection rates. Sweden (21.03 per cent), Norway (21.14 per cent) and Germany (25.18 per cent) are the countries with the lowest infection rates. The only non-European country in the Top Ten was Japan, in fourth place with 24.21 per cent, followed by the UK with 24.48 per cent. The study warned that cyber-criminals try to exploit newsworthy events to spread malware and said that social networks are the new battleground of cyber-activists.

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