McAfee: Mobile Malware Almost Doubled Since Last Quarter

On Wednesday McAfee released is new McAfee Threats Report: Third Quarter 2012 (pdf) report. It reveals that mobile malware almost doubled the previous quarter’s total, and that database breaches have reached an all-time high. The report also notes several jumps in some categories of malware including ransomware and signed binaries.

"Cybercrime exhibits few signs of slowing down,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “Though we tend to highlight the numbers, the fact is that we continue to see increased sophistication of attacks. Cybercrime, hacktivism, and cyberwarfare are in a continual state of evolution."

McAfee states that online financial fraud has spread across the globe. More specifically, Operation High Roller, a financial fraud ring identified earlier this year, has now spread outside Europe, including to the United States and Colombia.

Ransomware also continues to evolve, the firm reports, growing another 43-percent in 3Q12 alone. These attacks usually lock down the user's computer and demands money after it's infected the device thanks to clicking on social links, drive-by downloading or some other means.

The report goes on to state that the overall malware "zoo" has topped 100 million samples, just as predicted. Android is the largest target, and currently the firm sees an average of 100,000 new malware samples per day. "Since January, signed malware has doubled, which has implications for global trust infrastructure," the firm said.

According to McAfee, close to 100 new database-related vulnerabilities have been disclosed or silently patched by developers in 2012. Stealth malware is also on the rise, able to evade detection. Web threats have increased 20-percent in 3Q12 as well, and almost 64-percent of those stemming from URLs based in North America.

"Everyone from governments to large enterprises, small business and home users are facing a wider range of digital threats from these forces, as they gain more actionable intelligence on their victims, and leverage the newest attack platforms and exploits tools to launch their campaigns," he added."We all need to equip ourselves with basic situation awareness to our online risks and how best to prevent and combat these threats."

To read the full report, get the PDF from McAfee here.


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  • jhansonxi
    New malware or derivatives of old malware? My markeing BS detector says the latter.
  • santfu
    For android alone - 100,000 "new" per day. If they were genuinely new that is alot of coding, I have no idea really but lets say it takes about a week to write a piece of new malware. That's about a million people constantly writing new malware. It could of course take 5 mins to write, but i doubt it.
  • hoofhearted
    McAfee as a reputable source? Gimme a break! Didn't the founder just get suspected for murder?