The Internet: Beyond the Wild, Wild West; Think Stone Age
January 12, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The PandaLabs malware detection and analysis lab maintained by security software maker Panda Security has announced its annual security report for the just-ended 2008. And man, is it ugly out there on the Internet, or rather, in there on the PCs and servers of the world.
In 2008, PandaLabs says that it detected an average of 35,000 malware samples a day, and 22,000 of those detected were new infections launched by hackers. (No wonder antivirus software eats so much resources, eh?) PandaLabs says that the total count of malware threats in 2008 was above 15 million, which is more than three times the projected level the lab estimated for 2008 as 2007 was ending. In the first eight months of 2008, in fact, more new bits of malware were launched than in the prior 17 years that Panda Security has been tracking malware combined.
By Panda Security’s assessment, 67.7 percent of the malware launched in 2008 was of the Trojan horse type, meaning it was created to run on your machine by pretending to be something else, or lurking on a Web page, and then to steal your passwords, bank account information, and so forth. Not surprisingly, given their prevalence, Trojans were the most common infection on computers, at 70.1 percent, compared to 19.9 percent for adware, and only 4.22 percent for worms. Ironically–or maybe just sadistically–rogue antivirus programs that trick end users into thinking they are infected and then try to sell them a solution to the infection, are on the rise.
If you want to get the low-down on all the different kinds of malware, check out PandaLabs’ 2008 annual malware report for yourself.