Malware Crosses 75 Million Samples in 2011

 “The threat landscape continued to evolve in 2011, and we saw a significant shift in motivation for cyber attacks,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “Increasingly, we’ve seen that no organisation, platform or device is immune to the increasingly sophisticated and targeted threats. On a global basis, we are conducting more of our personal and business transactions through mobile devices, and this is creating new security risks and challenges in how we safeguard our commercial and personal data.”

Cyber-criminals earn significant amounts of money by spreading common type of Android malware that is SMS-sending Trojans these messages are sent to premium services. The rooting Android devices are getting easier and easier and there are now apps which combine vulnerability exploits to root phones with the click of a button.


The overall growth of PC-based malware actually declined throughout Q4 2011, and is significantly lower than Q4 2010. The cumulative number of unique malware samples in the collection still exceeds the 75 million mark. Contributing to the rise in malware were rootkits and stealth malware. Though rootkits are some of the most sophisticated classifications of malware, designed to evade detection and “live” on a system for a prolonged period, they showed a slight decline in Q4. Fake AV dropped considerably from Q3, while AutoRun and password-stealing Trojan malware show modest declines. In a sharp contrast to Q2 2011, Mac OS malware has remained at very low levels the last two quarters.


By the end of 2011. Spam globally declined and reached its lowest point in years, especially in countries like United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea. Despite the drop in global levels, McAfee Labs found that the present spearphishing and spam are highly sophisticated.


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