Over 50% of computers in China are infected with malware, while Sweden is the country with the lowest number in computer infections.
Panda Labs, the antimalware laboratory of Panda Security, announced recently the results of their first quarterly report for 2012, which analyzes all the events in the security of information systems between January and March 2012. The first quarter of 2012 recorded a high increase in malware, with six million new malware created.
Trojans are in records high, with 80% among all the new malware, since it seems that they are the most popular category for cyber-crooks to steal information from potential victims. Note that in 2011, they accounted for 73% of all malware.
Second place in malware categories is occupied by the “Worms” with 9.3% followed by “viruses” with a 6.43%. It is interesting that these two categories of malicious software have exchanged places with their rates compared to the annual report of 2011, where viruses reached a rate of 14.25% while the worms was third with 8% of total malware.
Regarding the number of new infections caused by each category of malware, the classification coincides with that of the categories we have described above. The Trojans, worms and viruses again occupied the first three positions. Interestingly, the worms caused only 8% of all infections despite representing more than 9% of new malware. This is quite remarkable, as the worms usually cause many more infections on computers, thanks to their ability to propagate in an automated manner. In any case, the data simply confirm what is already known: Massive attacks by worms is now a thing of the past and has been replaced by a growing avalanche of “silent” Trojans.
China on top of contaminated countries
The average number of infected computers around the world amounts to 35.51%, almost three percentage points lower compared with 2011, according to figures obtained by the technology of Collective Intelligence of Panda Security. China is again leader in this ranking (54.25% of infected computers), followed by Taiwan and Turkey. The list of countries with the lowest number of malware infected computers is dominated by European countries, since nine out of ten first places are occupied by them. Japan is the only non-European country among the top ten countries with less than 30% of infected computers. The first three positions of the least infected countries are occupied by Sweden, Switzerland and Norway.
The first quarter at a glance
PandaLabs have singled out several top security incidents during the first quarter of 2012. According to their report, there was a significant increase in “ransomware” attacks in the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to the so-called “Police virus”. This virus displays messages that contain the logos of international law enforcement agencies (police, organizations, etc.) to trick users into believing that their computers have been blocked by police because of visits to inappropriate websites, or because they make illegal downloads of software . For users to unlock their computers, they must pay a fine, usually in the order of 100 dollars or pounds (depending on the target of the attack). However, these messages do not come from the police, but by the “ransomware” Trojan itself. Check this category here for more tips on removing ransomware.
The report also includes all attacks on mobile phones running Android, the spread of malware through Facebook, the Megaupload case, cyber-wars and the latest attacks by Anonymous groups and LulzSec.
According to Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, “Although still at the beginning of the year, so far what we have seen in 2012 is a continuation of past trends. The cyber-criminals are still trying to steal information and money from users in every possible way. ”
As always PandaLabs advises all users to effectively protect their computers with current updates and antivirus. For this purpose, Panda Security offers a free protection tool called Panda Cloud Antivirus.