Trojans set a new record, causing nearly 80% of all computer infections worldwide. Despite their inability to replicate, Trojans are capable of triggering massive infections through compromised Web sites that exploit vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins like Java, Adobe Reader, etc. This attack method allows hackers to infect thousands of computers in just a few minutes with the same Trojan or different ones, as attackers have the ability to change the Trojan they use based on multiple parameters such as the victim's location, the operating system used, etc.
"Trojans are cyber-crooks' weapon of choice, which explains why they account for most new specimens in circulation and infections triggered in the first quarter of the year," explained Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.
The average number of infected PCs across the globe stands at 31.13 percent. The countries leading the list of most infections are China (the only nation with more than 50% of computers infected), followed by Ecuador (41.01 percent of infected PCs) and Turkey (40.38 percent). The top ten list of malware-infected countries is completed with Argentina (37.77 percent), Peru (37.43 percent), Taiwan (36.48 percent), Russia (36.21 percent), Poland (33.79 percent), Spain (33.58 percent) and Brazil (33.45 percent). These are joined by another four countries with above-average infection rates: Chile (33.37 percent), Colombia (32.01 percent), Italy (31.97 percent) and Venezuela (31.45 percent).
The list of least infected countries is dominated by European nations. The country with the fewest infections is Finland (17 percent of infected PCs), followed by Sweden (20 percent), and Switzerland (20.99 percent). The other countries with the lowest infection rates are: United Kingdom (21.89 percent), Norway (22.57 percent), Japan (22.82 percent), Germany (22.94 percent), Belgium (23.89 percent), Holland (23.92 percent) and Australia (24.32 percent).
Finally, here is a list of countries that did not make the top ten list, but which had a malware infection rate below the worldwide average: Canada (24.89 percent), Denmark (25.72 percent), Portugal (26.91 percent), Costa Rica (27.22 percent), France (27.43 percent), United States (27.79 percent), Mexico (29.91 percent) and Hungary (30.69 percent).
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 http://www.pandalabs.com. Follow Panda on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PandaComunica and Facebook at http://www.facebook/PandaSecurity.