Technology

December 1, 2012

The number and complexity of cyberattacks, especially those targeting mobile devices, grew at an alarming pace in the second quarter, security technology company McAfee Labs said in its latest Threats Report.  

McAfee identified more than 8 million previously undiscovered samples of malicious software, or malware, during the three months that ended June 30. The number of new malware samples grew by more than 1.5 million from the first quarter to the second quarter.  

With nearly 100,000 new threats identified every day, the total number of unique malware samples tracked by McAfee climbed above the 90 million mark.

“Through forecasting and trending, we knew that 2012 would likely host a greater number of new malware samples than 2011, but the data from Q2 blew us away,” Pat Calhoun, McAfee’s senior vice president and general manager for network security, wrote in a blog entry discussing the latest report.

Hackers continued to produce malware for mobile devices at a rapid clip. The number of unique mobile malware samples soared from fewer than 2,000 in 2011 to more than 12,000 in 2012. Google’s Android operating system is the primary target. Nearly all the newly discovered mobile malware in the second quarter was written for Android.

The full report is available at tinyurl.com/8qxfmrn.

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