Malware Threat Grows as Incident Rate Rises

Trojans continued to be the main source of malware (51 percent), positioned ahead of the rest of the collected samples.

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More cyber- attacks occurred in 2015 than any previous year, with a total of 304 million samples, which means that nearly 28 percent of all malware samples ever recorded were produced last year.

This was one of the findings of PandaLabs annual cyber threat report, which also revealed 230,000 new malware samples are produced daily.

"The most concerning finding from the report was the number of big companies that have been victims of data theft. It looks like nobody can avoid becoming a victim," Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, told eWEEK. "Although it is true that big companies have really complex networks, it is also true that they should have a big enough budget to be ready to face these situations."

Corrons said there are no bullet-proof solutions and eventually some endpoint can and will be compromised and infected. That is understandable, but the lack of effective measures to protect valuable data is one of the most concerning findings, he noted. Trojans continued to be the main source of malware (51 percent). Other sources were viruses (23 percent); worms (13 percent); PUPs (11 percent), and cases of spyware (2 percent).

Among all types of malware that cause large infections worldwide, it was Trojans that had the greatest rate of infection (60 percent), albeit this figure was 5 percent down from 2014.

PUPs were also particularly harmful, with nearly a third of infections resorting to trick techniques to fully enter the targeted PCs, far ahead of adware and spyware (5 percent), worms (3 percent), and viruses (2.5 percent).

"We just have to figure out how technology is going to evolve and where the money is going to be. With that I can picture some future threats easily-- Internet of things is going to become really important, and we could see ransomware attacks targeting our connected homes and cars," Corrons said. "Mobile payment systems are going to become really popular, which means that cyber criminals will try to target it, specifically the weakest link in the chain: the final user. We'll see malware for mobile devices and other attacks against contactless payment systems."

Last year was also notable for being the year with the highest rate of infections caused on computers. China was the country with the most infected computers (57 percent), a figure that was nearly 30 percent more than in 2014.