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PandaLabs: 2013 Broke Malware Record

70 percent of new malware strains last year were Trojans

Turns out 2013 was a record-breaker for malware, according to new data from PandaLabs: Twenty percent of all malware ever created appeared last year, with a total of 30 million new variants.

PandaLab's 2013 annual threat report shows that an average of 82,000 different malware strains appeared daily last year. Trojans were the biggest threat, accounting for 77.11 percent of all new malware. The number of malware strains grew 13.3 percent last year, versus 9.67 percent in 2012.

"This increase is mainly down to two particular virus families: Sality and Xpiro. The first virus family has been around a long time, whereas the second one is more recent and capable of infecting executable files on 32-bit and 64-bit systems," says Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

More than 70 percent of new malware strains were Trojans. Worms accounted for 13.3 percent of all new malware last year, followed by general viruses (8.49 percent) and spyware/adware 6.93 percent). Ransomware was on the rise last year as well, according to the report.

Around 32 percent of computers around the world are malware-infected, the report says.

"It seems that cybercriminals managed to infect more computers with Trojans in 2013 than in previous years. In 2011, Trojans accounted for 66 percent of all computer infections, whereas this percentage rose to 76 percent in 2012. This growing trend was confirmed in 2013," Corrons says.

China is home to the most infected machines, with 54 percent, followed by Turkey (42 percent) and Ecuador (40 percent). Sweden has the lowest infection rate, with 20 percent, followed by Norway and Finland, each with a little more than 21 percent of their machines infected.

More than 2 million new malware threats emerged last year for Android alone, according to Panda, and mobile threats to that platform will continue to rise this year. "Over the next 12 months we will have to pay special attention to Android threats, as they are clearly on the rise all around the world. In this context we can expect to see new waves of attacks aimed at stealing data and money," Panda said in its report.

The full report is available here (PDF).

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 Senior Editor at DarkReading.com. 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 Magazine, ... View Full Bio

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