Trojans accounted for more than 75 percent of new malware samples created during the quarter

November 3, 2011

3 Min Read


ORLANDO, FLA., November 3, 2011 – PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, today published its Quarterly Report, analyzing the IT security events and incidents from July through September 2011. Despite much of this timeframe being a holiday period for many countries, the creation of new malware did not slow down. In the third quarter of 2011 alone, five million new malware samples were created. In addition, Trojans set a record for becoming the preferred category for cybercriminals to carry out their information theft, representing more than 75 percent of all new malware.

The PandaLabs Q3 Report also includes information about cybercrime, cyberwar, social networks, Apple and mobile exploits. The full report is available at:

Once again, the Anonymous Group continued to dominate headlines during the period with the arrest of some of its members, ongoing data theft from high profile websites and Operation PayPal. According to Luis Corrons, Technical Director at PandaLabs, “The highlight of the third quarter is the record set in the creation of new Trojan samples. Three out of four new malware samples created by cybercriminals are Trojans, creating further proof that their sole intent is to steal users’ information.”

Quarterly Figures

During the months of July, August and September the record of new Trojan samples was broken compared to previous quarters. Three out of four new samples, 76.76 percent, were Trojan Horses, an increase from 68 percent in the previous quarter. With the widespread prevalence of cybercrime, Trojans have always been at the top, but never reached a percentage this high.

Viruses took second place, comprising 12.08 percent of samples (down from the previous month more than 4 points). Worms followed viruses, descending from 11.69 to 6.26 percent in the last quarter.

Interestingly, the growth of new adware samples grew more than 100 percent from 1.37 percent in the second quarter to 3.52 percent in the third, mainly due to the growth of fake antivirus, included in this category. A graph of this breakdown is available here:

As recorded by Panda Security’s online scanner, Panda ActiveScan, overall data of malware samples is similar to those recorded in the second quarter. Trojans, viruses and worms again occupied the top three spots with 63.22, 10.11 and 9.74 percent of infections, respectively. A graph is available here:

The Top 10 most prevalent malware specimens accounted for 49.97 percent of all infections. However, this figure is somewhat misleading as many of the entries on the list are generic detections (detected by Collective Intelligence) which include several malware families. A graph is available here:

China Tops List of Infections Per Country

In the ranking of the Top 20 countries with the most infections, China once again led this ranking according to Panda’s Collective Intelligence data. Taiwan (50.93) and Turkey (46.68) occupied the second and third place respectively, followed by Russia and Poland. A graph of this breakdown is available here: On the other end of the spectrum, Sweden once again garnered the lowest detection rate with 23.36 percent, followed by the UK, Switzerland and Germany:

According to Corrons, “We should take note of the countries that consistently see the lowest rates of infection, and document the best practices carried out to apply the same principles worldwide.”

PandaLabs continues to advise all users to ensure their computers are adequately protected with a comprehensive security suite such as Panda Cloud Antivirus.

About PandaLabs

Since 1990, PandaLabs, Panda Security’s malware research laboratory, has been working to detect and classify malware in order to protect consumers and companies against new Internet threats. To do so, PandaLabs uses Collective Intelligence, a cloud-based proprietary system that leverages the knowledge gathered from Panda’s user community to automatically detect, analyze and classify the more than 73,000 new malware strains that appear every day. This automated malware classification is complemented through the work of an international team with researchers specialized each in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other attacks) to provide global coverage. Get more information about PandaLabs and subscribe to its blog news feed at

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