According to a new survey from McAfee, malware has increased significantly across all platforms. At an all-time four year high, malware that targets PC's has drastically increased with such threats as rootkits, password-stealing trojans as well as the ZeroAccess rootkit and others.
McAfee, now a part of Intel, says the total number of malware samples it has collected rose by 8 million to 83 million, up from 75 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. PC's are not alone. Mac's have been affected by the likes of the Flashback trojan, with 250 new malware samples and 150 new fake anti-virus samples being added to the quarter. Vincent Weafer, McAfee Labs Senior VP, says that, "malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development of new malware," adding that, "The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile".
Mobile devices have also seen an increase. Mobile malware, including new adware and mobile backdoors, has seen a huge jump. McAfee says that this malware was "targeted almost solely at the Android platform" and saw a 1,200% increase compared to the last quarter, with nearly 7,000 threats collected and identified in Q1 2012, up from 600 samples at the end of Q4 2011. Third party applications originating from China and Russia are the majority of the threats.
Botnets saw growth in the first quarter, approaching almost 5 million infections at the highest point, with new infections rising in the US, Colombia, Japan, Poland and Spain. Global spam levels, however, saw a decline, falling to just over 1 trillion monthly spam messages in the quarter.