Daily Malware Threats Rise Nearly 15 Percent in 2010

PandaLabs reports that one-third of all active malware threats were created in the first 10 months of the year.

December 1, 2010

D.H. Kass

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The average number of malware threats created daily rose nearly 15 percent in 2010 to about 63,000 instances, according to PandaLabs, the anti-malware arm of Panda Security Inc.

The good news is that more than half of the newly created malware, including variants of existing programs, were neutralized within a day, a favorable comparison to prior years when the life of such software spanned several months, the security vendor said.

Panda said that more than one-third of the active malware currently threatening computer users was created in the first 10 months of this year.

About 20 million new strains of malware already have been created already this year, the same as in all of 2009, Panda said. The security vendor said that its database now houses some 60 million malware files, including viruses, worms and Trojans.

“Since 2003, new threats have increased at a rate of 100 percent or more,” said Luis Corrons, PandaLabs technical director.

“Yet so far in 2010, purely new malware has increased by only 50 percent, significantly less than the historical norm,” he said.

Corrons said that rather than create new malicious code, hackers seem to prefer reusing old code or parceling out existing threats.

“It seems hackers are applying economies of scale, reusing old malicious code or prioritizing the distribution of existing threats over the creation of new ones,” he said.

Panda also said that malware’s severely shortened lifespan shows that many programs are built to infect only a few systems before disappearing. As antivirus programs identify new malware more quickly, hackers either modify their programs or create new ones to evade detection, the company said.

TAGS: security,malware,PandaLabs,antivirus,Panda Security

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