According to PandaLabs' annual threat report, in 2010 cybercriminals created and distributed one-third of all existing viruses, creating 34 percent of all malware that has ever existed and been classified by the company.
Interestingly, however, growth of new threats has slowed when compared to 2009. Every year since 2003, new threats grew by at least 100 percent, the report says. But in 2010, the increase was approximately 50 percent.
Banker Trojans still dominate the ranking of new malware that appeared in 2010 (56 percent of all samples), followed by viruses and worms. A relative newcomer to the malware landscape, rogueware (fake antivirus software) now comprises 11.6 percent of all the malware gathered and has been given its own category.
The countries leading the list of most infections are Thailand, China, and Taiwan, with 60 to 70 percent of infected computers.
Hackers exploited social media, the positioning of fake websites, and zero-day vulnerabilities as their primary methods of infection. Spam also kept its position as one of the main threats in 2010, despite the dismantling of major botnets during the year. The percentage of email that is spam dropped to an average of 85 percent, according to the study.
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