Q2 Malware Storm Wreaks 15 Million New Samples

A staggering 15 million new malware samples were generated in the second quarter of this year, with trojans once again accounting for the majority, but Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) showing a major growth spurt, according to Panda Security.

The Spanish security vendor’s PandaLabs research arm revealed the figures in its Quarterly Report for Q2, claiming that over those three months, a whopping 160,000 new samples were created every day.

Some 58.2% of newly created threats were trojans, a drop from Q1 but only because of the rise in PUPs (24.77%), it said.

The report explained the following:

“This increase in the number of PUPs is not by chance. Over recent months we have witnessed a significant increase in the creation of software bundlers, programs that install PUPs on computers along with the programs that the user actually wants to install – without asking for the user’s consent. Although these bundlers have been around for some time, new companies have sprung up who exploit these programs and profit from installing unwanted software without properly informing the user.”

When it comes to regional stats, China (51%) once again had the highest infection rate of any country.

Aside from Japan, which had an infection rate of 24.2%, the ten countries least affected by malware were European.

The UK came halfway down that list with 25% - well below the global average of 37%.

PandaLabs also noted an increase in attacks on iOS users during the quarter, specifically calling out a new piece of Chinese malware targeting unlocked iPhones and designed to steal user credentials.

Another high profile attack targeting Apple users in May demanded a ransom payment after locking their devices via 'Find my iPhone' technology.

There was good news in the quarter, however, with the FBI and the UK’s NCA temporarily disrupting the infamous Gameover Zeus botnet, allowing users to remediate their machines and install more effective security software.

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