If it seems like there has been a lot of new malware in recent months, that’s because new strains of malware increased 64.8 percent in the first six months of 2015, as compared to the first part of 2014.
That’s according to a new study released by G DATA, which stated:
The first half of 2015 saw 3,045,722 new strains of malware. On average this is 12 new malware strains per minute. We expect that the number of new malware strains will be well above the level of 2014.
The report found that banking Trojans are on the rise, for the first time in three years, with the Swatbanker family making the most noise, followed by the Zeus family. I had been getting some alerts recently regarding Zeus and other banking Trojans and I thought it had been a while since I’ve seen so many updates on banking malware. In a formal statement, Andy Hayter, security evangelist for G DATA, provided some insight as to why financial-related malware is back in the spotlight:
About three-quarters of Internet users are conducting their financial transactions online, and cybercriminals have recognized this huge opportunity for malicious attack.
Not surprisingly, he added, the bad guys are taking advantage of the trend.
But it isn’t just the financial industry under attack. The report also warned of the rise of medical malware. In an International Business Times article, Hayter suggested that this infiltration could be related to insurance fraud, adding:
This means people are hacking websites so that when you go there, you’re actually being redirected to a key logger or something that’s collecting information on you. … Healthcare websites are becoming more evil in the past year than they ever have before.
The rise of malware is happening across devices, and that includes on Macs. True, the amount of malware on Apple products is much less than anything we see on PCs or Android, but it is also surging and can’t be ignored. As Ubergizmo reported:
According to a report from BleepingComputer (via BGR) which summarized the findings from Bit9 and Carbon Black, it seems that 2015 is the most prolific year as far as Mac malware is concerned. For example they found that from 2010-2014, there was about 180 instances in which malware for Mac was discovered. This is versus the whopping 948 instances found in 2015 alone and we haven’t even reached the end of the year.
We only have two months left of 2015, so it will be interesting to see how these malware reports shape up over the course of an entire year. Will 2015 end up being the Year of Malware?
Sue Marquette Poremba has been writing about network security since 2008. In addition to her coverage of security issues for IT Business Edge, her security articles have been published at various sites such as Forbes, Midsize Insider and Tom’s Guide. You can reach Sue via Twitter: @sueporemba