McAfee Threats Report Q2 2012: Malware spread fastest in last 4 years

In its threats report that McAfee released today, it made a shocking revelation that the spread of malware has been at its fastest in the last four years and that there were more than 1.5 million of such malware-ridden software in the April-June quarter of this current year. The McAfee Security Threats added further, "Unique malware samples in our 'zoo' collection number 1.5 million more this quarter than last. At this rate we will almost certainly see 100 million samples by next quarter and possibly the first 10-million-sample quarter."


Going further, the report found that miscreants were targeting other popular consumer and business platforms, like Android OS, in addition to bringing personal computers under attack. The threat report further indicated that this quarter, much like the previous ones, saw all new mobile malware being directed towards the Android platform, including SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans. 

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McAfee releases its Threats Report for Q2 2012



On a related note, in May this year, a Mobile Threat Report Q1 2012 by the security firm, F-Secure had revealed that the malware targeting Android users have quadrupled since 2011. The report shows that about 10 Android malware families have come to the forefront in 2011, while the number has increased to 37 families in the first quarter of 2012. This clearly shows a year over year growth of a staggering 270 percent. 


It adds further, "Drive-by downloads arrived for Android this quarter with Android/NotCompatible.A. Similar to driveby installs on the PC—simply visiting a site infects your computer—mobile drive-by downloads drop malware on your phone when you visit a site. A victim still needs to install the downloaded malware, but when an attacker names the file Android System Update 4.0.apk, most suspicions vanish. A new botnet client, Android/Twikabot.A, uses Twitter for control. Instead of connecting to a web server, the malware searches for commands from specific attacker-controlled Twitter accounts. The attacker can tweet commands and all infected devices will follow them. Using a service such as Twitter allows an attacker to leverage the resources of others without paying for a dedicated server or stealing one that belongs to a victim. Internet relay chat servers have been exploited in the past for similar reasons, but using the web service gives attackers a small measure of anonymity."


The McAfee Security Threats report also found rootkits to have slightly risen overall in this quarter, with Koutodor showing great growth. ZeroAccess and TDSS fell a bit from last quarter, "but their influence in other classes of malware can clearly be felt." 


Elaborating further, the report added that rootkits are one of the 'nastiest classifications of malware' seen and that they have a large influence on almost all other areas of malware. "They are designed to evade detection and “live” on a system for a prolonged period," it added. 


The report saw McAfee cover a range of issues, from Network threats to Hacktivism and even cybercrime. To read the entire report, click here.