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18 November 2010, 10:41

McAfee: Malware still on the rise

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McAfee Logo According to security services provider McAfee malware levels are at an all time high. In its third quarter report, McAfee says that it now has nearly 50 million unique malware samples, including variants, in its Labs database – up almost 20 million from the same time last year. On average, McAfee identified 60,000 new threats each day during the third quarter, nearly quadrupling since 2007. Overall the company says that it identified more than 14 million unique pieces of malware, one million more than the third quarter of 2009.

McAfee, now owned by Intel having been acquired in August, notes that the Zeus botnet was "one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware that plagued users in Q3". The Zeus trojan is said to have cost US small business $70 million and was recently unleashed to attack mobile devices by intercepting SMS TANs used to validate banking transactions.

However, although still a huge problem, spam has reportedly hit a two year low and has been consistently dropping in volume since January. Discussing the report, McAfee Global Threat Intelligence CTO and Senior VP Mike Gallagher said, "Our Q3 Threat report shows that cyber-criminals are not only becoming more savvy, but attacks are becoming increasingly more severe," adding that, "Cyber-criminals are doing their homework, and are aware of what’s popular, and what’s insecure".

More details can be found in the company's quarterly threats report, titled "McAfee Threats Report: Third Quarter 2010PDF".

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