Infection Data Shows Rise in Mobile Malware Development

1 - Infection Data Shows Rise in Mobile Malware Development
2 - New Malware Hits 42 Million Samples
3 - Google Patches Accelerate Mobile Malware Growth
4 - Mobile Malware Infections Vary by Region
5 - New Rootkit Malware on the Decline
6 - Ransomware Spikes Higher
7 - Wapomi Is the Most Prevalent Botnet
8 - Mac OS Malware Remains Small
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Infection Data Shows Rise in Mobile Malware Development

The latest Intel Security McAfee Labs Threats Report paints a mixed picture of security threats, with some on the rise and others slowing.

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New Malware Hits 42 Million Samples

The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the reversal of a trend that McAfee Labs had reported for the first three quarters of the year, with new malware once again on the rise. There were approximately 42 million new malware samples detected in the fourth quarter for a 10 percent quarterly gain.

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Google Patches Accelerate Mobile Malware Growth

The big standout statistic in McAfee Labs report was the 72 percent quarterly increase for new mobile malware samples reported in the fourth quarter of 2015. In its analysis, McAfee Labs explains that Google's decision in August 2015 to start a monthly patch cycle for Android motivated mobile malware developers to increase the frequency of new malware development.

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Mobile Malware Infections Vary by Region

While mobile malware is now on the rise, infection rates are not uniform around the world. Mobile users in Africa were the leading reporters of mobile malware infection, with Europe and Australia tying for last place.

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New Rootkit Malware on the Decline

New rootkit malware samples are on the decline as operating system-level protections from Microsoft Windows render the attack vector nearly obsolete. McAfee Labs analysis identified adoption of 64-bit Intel processors for Windows as helping to reduce or eliminate the risk of rootkit malware.

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Ransomware Spikes Higher

While rootkit malware is on its way toward obsolesce, ransomware is headed in the opposite direction. McAfee Labs reported a 26 percent quarterly increase in new ransomware samples in the fourth quarter of 2015.

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Wapomi Is the Most Prevalent Botnet

Often malware's purpose is to infect a victim's system in order to add a new zombie to a malicious botnet. According to McAfee Labs, the Wapomi botnet represented 34 percent of botnet traffic seen in the fourth quarter of 2015.

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Mac OS Malware Remains Small

While the total volume of malware, and mobile malware in particular, grew in the fourth quarter of 2015, new Mac OS X malware declined.

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