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360K New Malware Samples Hit the Scene Every Day

There have been at least 360,000 new malicious files detected every day in 2017—an 11.5% increase from the previous year.

According to Kaspersky Lab’s Number of the Year for 2017, a number of these new malicious files (processed by the company’s in-lab detection technologies) fall into the malware category (78%); however, viruses still account for 14% of daily detections. The remaining files are advertising software (8%).

This growth is having an effect at large: Kaspersky found that 29.4% of user computers encountered an online malware attack at least once over the course of the year; and 22% of user computers were subjected to advertising programs and their components.

Other interesting data points in the report include the fact that viruses significantly dropped in prevalence five to seven years ago, due to their complex development and low efficiency, Kaspersky said. However, a modicum of development still keeps chugging along as the 14% figure illustrates.

The reasons behind the growth are myriad: The explosive increase in ransomware attacks over the last couple of years is only set to continue, thanks to a growing criminal ecosystem behind this type of threat. Kaspersky said that bad actors are producing hundreds of new samples every day. Aside from that, 2017 also saw a spike in crypto-miners—a class of malware that cyber-criminals have started to use actively. Also, the increase in detections could be attributed to detection technologies getting better, and catching more.

The number of new malwares was calculated for the first time in 2011, when the total equaled only 70,000. Since then, it has grown five-fold. Also, after a slight decrease in 2015, the number of malicious files detected every day is growing for the second year in a row.

“In 2015, we witnessed a visible drop in daily detections and started thinking that new malware could be less important for criminals, who may have instead shifted their attention towards reusing old malware,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, head of the anti-malware team at Kaspersky Lab. “However, over the last two years, the number of new malware we discovered has been growing, which is a sign that interest in creating new malicious code has been revived.”

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