View Full Version : The growth of malware
Malware doubles in 2010
January 19, 2011 - "Sophos has today published its annual Security Threat Report*, looking back at the last twelve months and ahead to the threats we can expect to encounter during 2011... One of the key findings is that reports of social networking spam and malware attacks have risen once again. By mid-2010, Facebook recorded half a billion active users, making it not only the largest social networking site, but also one of the most popular destinations on the web. Unsurprisingly, this massive and committed user base is heavily targeted by scammers and cybercriminals, with the number and diversity of attacks growing steadily throughout 2010 – malware, phishing and spam on the various social networks have all continued to rise in the past year...
• 40% of social networking users quizzed have been sent malware such as worms via social networking sites, a 90% increase since April 2009.
• Two thirds (67%) say they have been spammed via social networking sites, more than double the proportion less than two years ago.
• 43% have been on the receiving end of phishing attacks, more than double the figure since April 2009.
This isn't just a problem for home users. Many people check their social networking accounts from the workplace, making the sites a potential vector for attacks against businesses. There's no doubt that cybercriminals are showing a much higher level of interest in the social networks than ever before, with Facebook being the site they are targeting the most..."
* http://www.sophos.com/threatreport2011 - PDF file: 150 pgs.
January 19, 2011 - "New malware appears, on average, once every 0.9 seconds. For 2010, 95,000 unique pieces of malware in total appeared, doubling the volume of malware seen in 2009. Those findings come from the Sophos Security Threat Report 2011 ..."
AV-Test year-end malware stats
January 27, 2011 - "Andreas Marx at AV-Test has shared some more information which highlights the significance of the malware problem. The numbers are staggering — AV-Test processed an average of 54k samples per day in 2010, up from an average of 33k in 2009 — and up from 426 samples per day just a decade ago. Stats below, source data here* (xls), all courtesy of AV-Test."
(Charted - see the Sunbeltblog URL above.)
AV certs - 2010 Q4 (Vista) ...
20 million -new- pests in 2010 alone:
Search engine malware doubled in 2010...
Mar 04, 2011 - "Malware authors are increasingly using search engines and social networks to spread their wares and are relying less on email, according to a report published yesterday. In its new "2010 Annual Security Report," Barracuda Networks* says spam dropped by half during 2010, while search engine malware doubled. The Twitter Crime Rate - the percentage of accounts created per month that are eventually suspended by Twitter - increased 20 percent in 2010, Barracuda says, "signifying a concentrated focus on the more lucrative social networks and search engines as attack vectors". To help users fight infection on social networks, Barracuda Networks yesterday rolled out a free service, Profile Protector**, which helps detect malicious threats on Facebook and Twitter... attackers have increased the spread of search engine malware and expanded their reach beyond Google. In June 2010, Google was crowned king of malware, turning up more than twice the amount of malware as Bing, Twitter, and Yahoo! combined, the report says. But by December 2010, with Google producing 38 percent of overall malware, Yahoo! was at 30 percent, Bing at 24 percent, and Twitter at 8 percent. The amount of malware found daily across the search engines increased 55 percent between June and December, Barracuda says. One in five search topics leads to malware, while one in 1,000 search results leads to malware. Barracuda Labs also analyzed more than 26 million Twitter accounts in order to measure and analyze account behavior. The number of true Twitter users - those with more than 10 followers and friends - increased to 43 percent in the second half, up from only 29 percent in June 2010. For every 100 Twitter users, 39 have between one and nine followers, while 50 have more than 10 followers. Approximately 79 percent of Twitter users tweet less than once per day, the report says. After decreasing at the end of 2009, the Twitter Crime Rate increased 20 percent from the first half of 2010 to the second half of 2010, going from 1.6 percent to 2 percent, Barracuda Networks says."
New Malware increases by 26% - More than 73,000 samples every day
Mar. 16, 2011 - "... In the first three months of 2011, PandaLabs identified an average of 73,000 new malware strains each day, most of which were Trojans. Moreover, there was a 26 percent increase of new threats compared to the same period last year...
... Trojans remain the most popular type of threat to computer systems, and now account for 70 percent of all new malware....
... Banker Trojans have decreased, bots have remained steady, and fake anti-virus or rogueware has decreased in popularity. However, the number of “downloaders” has increased significantly. Downloaders are a subtype of Trojan that, once it has infected a user’s computer, connect through the Internet to download additional malware. Hackers often use this method because the downloader is lightweight – only containing a few lines of code – and can go completely unnoticed unlike other Trojans..."
Trojan production UP ...
6 April 2011 - "Malware authors have stepped up production rates still further in their efforts to overwhelm anti-virus defences with banking Trojans and other crud. During the first three months of 2011 an average of 73,000 new strains of malware have been created every day: 10,000 more than during the same period last year... Panda's pie-chart here*... PandaLabs latest quarterly report can be found here**..."
Quarterly Report PandaLabs (January-March 2011) - PDF file 2.6MB
Pg. 9 - "... PandaLabs has found an important increase in the number of new threats received at the laboratory every day: from 55,000 just a few months ago, to 63,000 at the end of last year and an average of 73,190 so far in 2011. That is, a 16 percent growth compared to Q4 last year..."
Q1 2012: Malware report - Increase across -all- Platforms
May 23, 2012 - "... PC malware reached its highest levels in four years, as well as a steep increase in malware targeting the Android platform. Mac malware was also on the rise, indicating that total malware could reach the 100 million mark within the year...
- Mobile malware raced up a significant incline during Q1 2012, with 8,000 total mobile malware samples collected. This large increase was due in part to McAfee Labs’ advancements in the detection and accumulation of mobile malware samples. Financial profit is one of the main motivators for spreading malware on the Android platform, as identified by McAfee Labs malware researcher Carlos Castillo in a recent blog post. Nearly 7,000 Android threats have been collected and identified through the end of Q1, a more than 1200 percent increase compared with the 600 Android samples collected by the end of Q4 2011. The majority of these threats stem from third-party app markets, and are typically not found in the official Android market...
- Malware Increase in PCs and Macs
By the end of 2011, McAfee Labs collected more than 75 million malware samples. Q1 2012 had the largest number of PC malware detected per quarter in the last four years. This increase brought the grand total to 83 million pieces of malware samples by the end of Q1, up from 75 million samples at the end of Q4 2011. Major contributors to the total were strong increases in rootkits, a stealth form of malware, as were password stealers, which reached approximately 1 million new samples in Q1. In Q1, email continued to be a medium used for highly targeted attacks, and nearly all targeted attacks began with a spear phish..."
Last Update: 05-24-2012
Monthly Malware Statistics: April 2012
11 May 2012 - "The following statistics were compiled in April using data collected from computers running Kaspersky Lab products:
• 280 million malicious programs were detected and neutralized;
• 134 million (48% of all threats) web-borne infections were prevented;
• More than 24 million malicious URLs were detected..."
Most dangerous websites ...
May 24, 2012 - "... According to Symantec*, 20 percent of all blog and Web communication sites are infected with malicious code, 15 percent of hosting sites are infected, and 10 percent of business and economy sites..."
Almost at 80 million...
Last update: 7.17.2012
August 7, 2012
PandaLabs' Q2-2012 Report
Pg. 11 - "... The average number of -infected- PCs across the globe stood at 31.63 percent..."
Top 50 Bad Hosts and Networks - Q2 2012
"... HostExploit’s latest report features analysis of malicious activity hosted around the world, as well as features on cross-border cooperation pertaining to the recent Carberp virus. The overall #1 Bad Host title for this quarter is a hosting provider based in Russian - AS41947 Webalta – known to researchers for a long time. However, with an HE Index of 214.67, Webalta is not ranked as highly as previous #1 Hosts. HostExploit analyzed all 41,635 publicly-advertised Autonomous Systems (including web hosts, commercial networks and registrars) with the results represented in a number of ways..."
(More detail and links to full PDF reports available at the URL above.)
"... over the past 90 days, 1168 site(s).. served content that resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google tested a site on this network was on 2012-08-09, and the last time suspicious content was found was on 2012-08-09... Over the past 90 days, we found 30 site(s) on this network... that appeared to function as intermediaries for the infection of 72 other site(s)... this network has hosted sites that have distributed malicious software in the past 90 days. We found 63 site(s)... that infected 478 other site(s)..."
Top 50 Bad Hosts - 2012 Q2
McAfee Q2-2012 Threat Report
Sep 4, 2012 - "McAfee Labs researchers today announced a surge in malware samples this year - particularly threats that take advantage of mobile networks to launch drive-by downloads, control botnets using Twitter and spread ransomware that locks down infected machines and demand payments from users... its researchers say they've unearthed 1.5 million new pieces of malware this year, or an average of nearly 100,000 malware samples a day. More and more malicious code is targeting Google's Android OS, though Apple users are far from immune too. More than 100 new Mac-oriented samples were discovered last quarter... The past quarter was also the busiest ever for ransomware, which holds part or all of a victim's data hostage and demands anonymous payment methods to restore it... Botnets reached a 12-month high last quarter, with more attackers using Twitter to send out commands and get all infected devices to follow them. Additionally, thumb drives containing malware - particularly password-stealing code - remain a popular conduit to infect machines... More Web sites that host malware are gaining bad reputations... The authors note that their figure is at odds with the 9,500 new malicious web sites Google announced in a June blog post*."
Sep 4, 2012 - "... After the mobile malware explosion in Q1 2012, Android malware shows no signs of slowing down, putting users on high alert. Virtually all new mobile malware detected in Q2 2012 was directed at the Android platform, and was comprised of SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans... Ransomware is especially problematic as it can hold computers and data hostage, instantly damaging machines. Botnets, a network of compromised computers infected with malicious software and used to generate spam, send viruses or cause Web servers to fail, have also taken center stage again this quarter with infections reaching a 12-month high... Thumb drive and password-stealing malware showed significant growth in Q2... Websites with malicious reputations are influenced by the hosting of malware, potentially unwanted programs, or phishing sites... full copy of the McAfee Threats Report, Second Quarter 2012, please visit
Largest Malware Rise in Four Years
Sep 4, 2012
:mad: :fear: :mad:
Malware infection rates - Jan-June 2012 MSIR v13
Oct 9, 2012 - "... Microsoft ranked the threats facing each version of Windows... some malware families are more successful against, or at least more often aimed at, specific Windows builds*, and thus affect the infection rates... The 146-page Security Intelligence Report Volume 13 can be downloaded from Microsoft's website**."
Vol 13: Jan-June 2012 - Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR)
10 Oct 2012
Over 90 million...
Last update: 11.08.2012
HostExploit - Q3 2012 World Hosts Report
Familiar Hosts & Open Resolvers
24 Oct 2012 - "... the Q3 2012 World Hosts Report, in collaboration with Group-IB and CSIS. The #1 Host this quarter for levels of malicious activity is new to the top 50 ranking table – AS40034* Confluence Networks, registered in the Virgin Islands but hosted in the United States.
New names in new places is sadly not a consistent theme for this quarter as, despite the new #1, the ‘Top 50 Hosts’ table for Q3 2012 has more than a fair share of familiar names holding the top positions. Unlike the new #1 (AS40034 Confluence Networks), AS16138 Interia.pl, the holder of the #2 spot**, is a regular at the top of the chart for consistently serving some of the worst types of malicious activity on the web. Offences include large amounts of ‘Current Events’, a mix of the most up-to-date and fast changing attack exploits and vectors.
... An important topic under discussion in the Q3 2012 report is on the subject of ‘open resolvers’, ‘DDoS the World - The Problem with DNS Open & Misconfigured Resolvers’. An area that has yet to fully capture the attention of the media, despite being known about for many years, is the -misconfiguration- of DNS resolvers or ‘open resolvers’. This can leave powerful resources vulnerable to being hijacked for the purpose of amplifying of DDoS attacks... in the country rankings, there have not been large movements. It is disappointing to see that both the United States and Russia have deteriorated since Q2 in their hosts’ overall standings... The full HE ‘World Hosts Report’ for Q3 2012 - available here (1) - provides more detailed information on all of the topics above, including data on individual categories such as Botnet C&C servers, phishing servers, exploit servers, Zeus botnet hosting, infected websites, spam, current events and badware..."
"... over the past 90 days, 296 site(s)... served content that resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent... the last time suspicious content was found was on 2012-10-24... Over the past 90 days, we found 16 site(s) on this network... that appeared to function as intermediaries for the infection of 211 other site(s)... this network has hosted sites that have distributed malicious software in the past 90 days. We found 776 site(s)... that infected 4417 other site(s)..."
Top 50 bad hosts - Q3 2012
GOOGLE - Blacklisted URLs: 9117
AMAZON-AES - Blacklisted URLs: 723
Malware stats to start 2013 ...
1.4.2013 - "... over 100,000 new malicious programs every day..."
Current malware stats: Over 99 million...
Preferred Targets for Malware ...
March 25, 2013 - "... traditional antivirus solutions are not identifying the vast majority of malware infecting networks via real-time applications such as web browsing. The Modern Malware Review is the first industry report to examine the behavior of unknown malware throughout its entire lifecycle, beginning when it enters the network, how it behaves once it is on the infected device and finally the outgoing traffic it generates. Key findings include:
• 94 percent of the fully undetected malware found on networks was delivered via web browsing or web proxies.
• 70 percent of malware left identifiers in their traffic or payload that can be used by security teams for detection.
• 40 percent of seemingly unique malware are actually repackaged versions of the same code.
• FTP is a highly-effective method for introducing malware to a network. 95 percent of malware delivered via FTP went undetected by antivirus solutions for more than 30 days.
• Modern malware is highly adept at remaining undetected on a host device. The review identified 30 different techniques for evading security and more than half of all malware behaviors were focused on remaining undetected...
The review identified 26,000 different malware samples on networks that had gone completely undetected by their antivirus solutions..."
Full report - PDF: http://www.paloaltonetworks.com/mmr
3.16.2013 - "... over 130,000 new malicious programs every day..."
Current malware stats: at 100 million...
Mobile malware up 163%
April 15, 2013 - "Mobile malware threats increased 163% to more than 65,000 in 2012, according to NQ Mobile*. The problem is becoming more complex as smarter mobile malware can better target connected devices... Nearly 95 percent of all mobile malware discovered in 2012 targeted Android. The top three methods for delivering malware in 2012 were app repackaging, malicious URLs, and smishing. NQ Mobile estimates that these forms of malware helped infect an estimated 32.8 million Android devices in 2012... Key findings:
• Over 32.8 million Android devices were infected in 2012 vs. 10.8 million in 2011 – an increase of over 200 percent
• The top five markets for infected mobile devices were China (25.5%), India (19.4%), Russia (17.9%), United States (9.8%) and Saudi Arabia (9.6%)
• 65% of malware discovered in 2012 falls into a broader category of Potentially Unwanted Programs (or PUPs). PUPs include root exploits, spyware, pervasive adware and Trojans (surveillance hacks)
• 28% of mobile malware discovered in 2012 was designed to collect and profit from a user's personal data
• 7% of malware was simply designed to make a user's device stop working (i.e., "bricking" their phones)
• Looking ahead, NQ Mobile estimated that over 10 million devices have already been infected in the first quarter of 2013..."
"... a majority of consumers will never run into malware -unless- they use an unofficial app marketplace, pirate apps illegally or unknowingly click on a malicious link."
Symantec 2013 Internet Security Threat Report
April 16, 2013 - "... Key Findings:
• 42% increase in targeted attacks in 2012.
• 31% of all targeted attacks aimed at businesses with less than 250 employees.
• One waterhole attack infected 500 organizations in a single day.
• 14 zero-day vulnerabilities.
• 32% of all mobile threats steal information.
• A single threat infected 600,000 Macs in 2012.
• Spam volume continued to decrease, with 69% of all email being spam.
• The number of phishing sites spoofing social networking sites increased 125%.
• Web-based attacks increased 30%.
• 5,291 new vulnerabilities discovered in 2012, 415 of them on mobile operating systems..."
Overview and Analysis - 58 pages, 5.5 MB (PDF):
Additional Stats and Information - 96 pages, 5 MB (PDF)
MS SIRv14 released
Last Updated: 2013-04-23 - "... Microsoft released volume 14 of its Security Intelligence Report (SIRv14) which includes new threat intelligence from over a billion systems worldwide... network worms are on the decrease and web-based attacks are all the rage*. Interesting report highlights include:
• The proportion of Conficker and Autorun threats reported by enterprise computers each decreased by 37% from 2011 to 2H12
• In the second half of 2012, 7 out of the top 10 threats affecting enterprises were associated with malicious or compromised websites...
• Enterprises were more likely to encounter the iFrame redirection technique than any other malware family tracked in 4Q12
• One specific iFrame redirection family called IframeRef, increased fivefold in the fourth quarter of 2012 to become the number one malicious technique encountered by enterprises worldwide
• IframeRef was detected nearly 3.3 million times in the fourth quarter of 2012 ..."
Malicious Websites Now the Top Threat to the Enterprise
Latest Security Intelligence Report Shows 24 Percent of PCs are Unprotected
22 Apr 2013
PC owners have to watch 24 sources for fixes
22 Apr 2013
MS SIRv14 - Updated data shows prevalence of Java malware ...
12 May 2013 - "Recently we released the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report volume 14. The report initially presented data showing reduced Java malware detections in Q3 2012 and gaining prevalence in Q4 of 2012. During a later review of the backend data, we found that we were missing some detection counts from our initial calculations. We have revised the data...
Machine count of detections for each exploit categories
... we can see clearly the sudden rise in Java exploitation... As the HTML/JS category is usually used in delivering other exploit vectors (for example, Blacole pages leading to other Java and PDF, SWF exploits), Java malware is the most prevalent exploit vector that actually tries to exploit vulnerabilities in the software since 2011.
... breakdown of individual Java exploits
In 2012 we saw four different Java vulnerabilities were used most, CVE-2012-1723, CVE-2012-0507, CVE-2012-4681, CVE-2012-5076.
... when the vulnerable software is exposed to the malicious Java exploits, the success rate of the exploitation is usually very high compared to memory corruption vulnerabilities... many times the Java vulnerabilities are adopted by malware writers after the updates from Oracle are released..."