Study: A third of all malware in history created in 2010

PandaLabs identifies top threats in 2010 ... and for next year

More than a third of all malware that has ever existed was created by criminal gangs in 2010 alone according to the latest PandaLabs Annual Report.

To be precise, the company found that 34 per cent of all existing malware has been concocted by cyber-criminals in the last year, banishing forever the image of the disgruntled geek creating viruses in his bedsit.

It's not all bad news however, there's been a dramatic slow-down in the rate with which threats are growing: since 2003 the number of new threats has been doubling every but in 2010 they only increased by 50 per cent.

An unwelcome trend however, has been the rise in social media malware, in particular Facebook and Twitter, although PandaLabs pointed out that there have also been attacks on other sites like LinkedIn or Fotolog. According to PandaLabs, hackers use several techniques to trick users.

These include the hijacking of Facebook's 'Like' button, identify theft to make it appear that messages are being sent by trusted sources, and the distribution of fake apps.

PandaLabs also pointed out that the year has also seen a rise in activist attacks on websites, so-called hacktivist incidents. Most notably, of course, was the co-ordinated response by the 'Anonymous' group in support of Julian Assange of Wikileaks. The DDoS attacks that brought down Mastercard, Visa and PayPal were a reminder of how quickly such attacks could be mobilised.

Another trend is the growing interest in Apple Mac as a hacker target. A few years ago, Mac enthusiasts used to boast about their malware-free machines - that's not the case any more. PandaLabs doesn't put any figures on the spread of Mac malware beyond pointing out that the company's growing market share means that it's become more vulnerable to attacks.

The banking Trojan remains the most widespread of all malware, accounting for some 56 per cent according to PandaLabs. However, there's a rise in rogueware or fake antivirus software, a category that didn't even exist five years. PandaLabs said that about 40 per cent of all fake antivirus programs were created in 2010. Out of the tottal of 5,651,786 individual examples of fake antivirus programs, of these, 2,285,629 appeared between January and November 2010, said PandaLabs.

The badge of dishonour for the country with the most infected PCs goes to Thailand which has nearly 70,000 infected machines - China and Taiwan are not far behind. The UK does not figure on the list of the worst 20 offenders, although France and Italy do, with about 48,000 infected machines.

Finally, PandaLabs found that Spam has continued to rise alarmingly high levels in 2010 despite the fact that botnets such as Mariposa and Bredolad were taken down. This did mean that the amount of spam dropped from the headline-grabbing figure of 95 per cent of all email traffic to the still high figure of 85 per cent.

PandaLabs believes that many of the trends of 2010 will continue in 2011, with growing examples of cyber-activism, social media attacks. SEO threats, a growing amount of attacks on mobile phones and tablets and more evidence of a attacks on Macs. In addition, new technologies will also be under threat - we'll see attacks on Windows 7 and more hackers looking to exploit HTML 5.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags LinkedInmalwareFacebooktwittervisaPersonal Tech

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Maxwell Cooter

Techworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?