Malware diffusion has registered new records, the security firm detected 27 million new malicious codes, around 74,000 new samples per day, the attacks have targeted government offices and multinational corporations from video game industry (Blizzard) to auto giants (Nissan).
“As a result, PandaLabs has now a total of 125 million classified malware samples. And the number keeps growing, aided by cyber-crooks eager to bypass antivirus protections to increase their profits. Trojans continued to account for most of the new threats, as three out of every four new malware strains created were Trojans.”
The 2012 registered a sensible increase of attacks against mobile platforms, Android market share continues to grow and an increased amount of malware targeting it, in January Google had to remove several malicious apps from its Android Market. The principal schema followed by cyber criminals is the repackaging of most popular games such as Angry Birds or Cut The Rope with malware. Once published on the app store users downloaded the infected apps unaware that they were also installing a malware.
Google company declared that it has managed to reduce malicious app downloads by 40 percent.
The figure proposed show a concerning scenario, around 31,98% of computers worldwide is infected, with peaks observed in China with 54.89% and South Korea at 54.15%. Of course the principal factors that advantaged the malware diffusion are the presence of unpatched systems, leak of defense systems and diffusion of counterfeit software.
According the statistics proposed most secure countries are Sweden,Switzerland and Norway with infection rates of 20-21%.
Looking the data related to principal malware categories it is possible to note that Trojans dominate the scenario reaching 76.57 percent, Worms came second (11.33 percent compared to 8.13 percent in 2011), whereas viruses dropped to third place at 9.67.
“Over the last few years, the number of Trojans in circulation has been constantly increasing. In 2010 they accounted for more than half of all malware created (56 percent), in 2011 they rose spectacularly to 73.31 percent, whereas in 2012 they reached 76.57 percent. Worms came second (11.33 percent compared to 8.13 percent in 2011), whereas viruses dropped to third place at 9.67 percent compared to 14.24 percent in 2011”
In 2012 cyber criminals and state sponsored hackers have concentrated their effort in the exploit of vulnerabilities of large diffusion software, we saw how Java, which is installed on hundreds of millions of devices, was repeatedly compromised and used to actively infect millions of users. Adobe products, Acrobat Reader, Flash, etc. have been compromised several times massively infecting users as well as for targeted attacks.
Another vector exploited to infect large number of uses are Social networks platforms, using social engineering techniques the attackers trick users into collaborating to infect their computers and steal their data is an easy task.
The 2012 is also considered the year of state-sponsored attacks, in different occasions have been detected governments offensive in the cyber space, the report highlight also another dangerous habit, many attacks are carried out by citizens who feel that they should defend their nation by attacking their neighbors using any means available.
In response to these attacks governments of the world’s leading nations are creating cyber commandos to prepare both defense and attack.
The report concludes that:
“The year 2013 presents itself full of challenges in the computer security world. Android users will have to face a growing number of attacks from cyber-crooks wanting to steal private information Cyber-espionage and cyber-war will also be on the rise, as more and more countries are organizing their own cyber-commando units. There is growing concern for the information that could be compromised and the possibility of using malware to launch direct attacks on critical infrastructure. Companies will have to tighten up security measures to avoid falling victim to the increasing number of cyber-attacks, while special care will have to be taken to protect networks against operating system and application vulnerabilities, with Java posing the biggest threat due to its multiple security flaws.”