05:35 PM
Connect Directly

McAfee: Close To 100K New Malware Samples Per Day In Q2

Biggest bump in four years in number of new malware samples found by security vendor

Malware writers went on a record-breaking tear in the second quarter of this year, pumping out some 100,000 new samples per day, according to a new report from McAfee.

McAfee says there was a 1.5 million increase in malware since the first quarter of 2012, closing in on a rate of nearly 100,000 unique malware samples per day. "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," McAfee said in its new report.

The hot new threats emerging in Q2 were drive-by mobile downloads, mobile ransomware, and using Twitter to control mobile botnets. "Attacks that we've traditionally seen in PCs are now making their way to other devices. For example, in Q2 we saw Flashback, which targeted Macintosh devices and techniques such as ransomware and drive-by downloads targeting mobile. This report highlights the need for protection on all devices that may be used to access the Internet," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a statement.

Android malware, by far, accounted for most of the new malware McAfee detected, and it was a combination of SMS-borne malware, mobile botnets, spyware, and Trojans. An unnerving trend is an increase in ransomware attacks, where cybercriminals are holding computers and data hostage in exchange for money or some forms of payment.

Twitter is increasingly being used as a command-and-control infrastructure for mobile botnets, using tweets for commands, up from close to 90,000 new variants in the first quarter to more than 120,000 in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, McAfee also found 2.7 million new bad URLs each month in the second quarter, with some 10,000 new malicious domains each day. Of the bad-reputation URLs, nearly 95 percent were housing malware for hijacking victim machines.

McAfee's full report is available here (PDF) for download.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
The Case for Integrating Physical Security & Cybersecurity
Paul Kurtz, CEO & Cofounder, TruSTAR Technology,  3/20/2018
A Look at Cybercrime's Banal Nature
Curtis Franklin Jr., Executive Editor, Technical Content,  3/20/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.