McAfee today released the McAfee
Threats Report: Second Quarter 2012, which found the biggest
increase in malware samples detected in the last four years. McAfee Labs
detected a 1.5 million increase in malware since Q1 2012 and identified
new threats such as mobile "drive-by downloads", the use of Twitter for
control of mobile botnets, and the appearance of mobile "ransomware".
Through proprietary research and investigation, McAfee Labs has been
witness to rapid growth in its database or "zoo" of malware samples.
With the malware sample discovery rate accelerating to nearly 100,000
per day, McAfee has identified key malware variants affecting a range of
"Over the last quarter we have seen prime examples of malware that
impacted consumers, businesses, and critical infrastructure facilities,"
said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. "Attacks that
we've traditionally seen on PCs are now making their way to other
devices. For example, in Q2 we saw Flashback,
which targeted Macintosh devices and techniques such as ransomware and
drive-by downloads targeting mobile. This report highlights the need for
protection on all devices that may be used to access the Internet."
Malware on the rise
As PC malware writers master their craft, they continue to transfer
their skills to other popular consumer and business platforms, such as
Google's Android OS. After the mobile malware explosion in Q1
2012, Android malware shows no signs of slowing down, putting users
on high alert. Virtually all new mobile malware detected in Q2 2012 was
directed at the Android platform, and was comprised of SMS-sending
malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans.
Mobile ransomware and botnets: the latest cybercrime fads
Ransomware, steadily increasing quarter over quarter, has become a
popular avenue for cybercriminals. Damage can range from loss of photos
and personal files for home users to data encryption and demands for
money for large enterprises. Ransomware is especially problematic as it
can hold computers and data hostage, instantly damaging machines.
Botnets, a network of compromised computers infected with malicious
software and used to generate spam, send viruses or cause Web servers to
fail, have also taken center stage again this quarter with infections
reaching a 12-month high. With the U.S. as the global hub of botnet
control servers, new methods for control have also been uncovered,
including the use of Twitter for mobile botnet command and control. As
such, the attacker can tweet commands with relative anonymity and all
infected devices will follow them.
Thumb drive corrupters, password stealers and web threats
Thumb drive and password-stealing malware showed significant growth in
Q2. At nearly 1.2 million new samples, the AutoRun worm spreads from
thumb drives by executing code embedded in AutoRun files, repeating the
process on any and all drives discovered. Password-stealing malware, at
nearly 1.6 million new samples, collects account names and passwords, so
an attacker can pose as the victim.
Websites with malicious reputations are influenced by the hosting of
malware, potentially unwanted programs, or phishing sites. This quarter
McAfee Labs recorded an average of 2.7 million new bad URLs per month.
In June, these new URLs were related to about 300,000 bad domains, which
is equivalent to 10,000 new malicious domains every day. Of the new
bad-reputation URLs, 94.2 percent host malware, exploits or code that
have been specifically designed to hijack computers.
Each quarter, the McAfee Labs team of 500 multidisciplinary researchers
in 30 countries follows the complete range of threats in real time,
identifying application vulnerabilities, analyzing and correlating
risks, and enabling instant remediation to protect enterprises and the
public. To learn more about the rise in malware in the full copy of the McAfee
Threats Report, Second Quarter 2012, please visit http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-quarterly-threat-q2-2012.pdf.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is
the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee
delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure
systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users
to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more
securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee
creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the
public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance
with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify
vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security.
McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep
our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com
Note: McAfee is a trademark or registered trademark of McAfee, Inc.
in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be
claimed as the property of others.
Ian Bain, 408-346-3877
Stephanie Chaney, 312-222-1758