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GovBytes: Run-of-the-mill malware still poses huge cybersecurity threat

As of late, we’ve all heard of the threat of new, advanced, nation-state sponsored viruses like Stuxnet and Flame. But it’s important not to forget the risk posed by run-of-the-mill malware to our machines and personal information. McAfee’s latest threat report suggest that this year is shaping up to be one of increased risk online, with PC and smartphone threats reaching a 4-year high. Some highlights of the report are:

  • There were 8,000 mobile malware samples collected when compared to 400 discovered in quarter four of 2011
  • There were almost 7,000 Android threats collected
  • There were 83 million samples of PC malware collected, up from 74 million in quarter four of 2011
  • The Android operating system is particularly vulnerable to compromise due to its flexibility

Malware on the Rise Across Multiple Devices and Platforms in 2012

There was some good news in the report, though:

  • Globally, spam has dropped to a little above one trillion messages a month
  • Mac malware is significantly less prevalent than malware for PC’s, with 250 malware samples found and 150 fake anti-virus samples
  • Arrests have been made including eight criminals who stole over $2 million via malware
  • Dangerous websites have dropped from 9,300 springing up in quarter four of 2011 to about 9,000 this quarter

Remember, always keep your PC up-to-date and be cautious when browsing the Internet. What steps do you take to protect yourself from malware?

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Profile Photo Samuel Lovett

These stats definitely factor into the ongoing BYOD discussion happening at agencies.

Am I reading correctly that 7 out of 8 mobile malware samples were found on Android?

Profile Photo Corey McCarren

Sam – It’s real worrisome considering I’ve an Android phone! Many people probably have more personal information on their phone than even their PC. I try as best I can to store as little personal data on my phone as possible, though in the end it is, by the nature of smartphones, wholly unavoidable.