New Delhi: Software security provider McAfee on Wednesday said spread of malware was the fastest in the last four years and there were 1.5 million more of such malicious software in the April-June quarter of this year.
"Unique malware samples in our 'zoo' collection number 1.5 million more this quarter than last. At this rate we will almost certainly see 100 million samples by next quarter and possibly the first 10-million-sample quarter," McAfee threats report said.
The report added while personal computers continue to be under attack, malware writers are now transferring their skills to other popular consumer and business platforms, such as Google's Android OS.
"Attacks that we've traditionally seen PCs are now making their way to other devices," McAfee Labs senior vice president Vincent Weafer said.
Android platform is the hardest hit as virtually all new mobile malware detected in in the second quarter of calender year 2012 was directed at the Android platform, and was comprised of SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans, the report said.
Malware or malicious software, is software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information and gain access to private computer systems.
Ransomware, a type of malware, is steadily increasing quarter over quarter and has become a popular avenue for cyber criminals.
"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," the report said.
Thumb drive and password-stealing malware showed significant growth in the second quarter.
"Password-stealing malware, at nearly 1.6 million new samples, collects account names and passwords, so an attacker can pose as the victim," it added.
First Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 15:53