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McAfee: It's The Largest Malware Rise in Four Years

By - Source: McAfee Email | B 33 comments

McAfee has detected a 1.5 million sample increase in malware since Q1 2012. Scary.

In McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2012 (pdf), the security firm states that it detected a 1.5 million increase in malware samples since Q1 2012, the biggest increase detected in the last four years. The report also identifies new threats such as mobile "drive-by downloads," the use of Twitter for control of mobile botnets, and the appearance of mobile "ransomware."

"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."

McAfee notes that malware authors have taken a liking to the open-source Android platform, as virtually all new mobile malware detected in Q2 2012 was directed at Google's mobile OS. This mobile assault included SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans. Malware seemingly exploded into the mobile scene back in Q1 2012 as previously reported by the firm (pdf).

In addition to attacking Android, mobile ransomware and botnets are the latest cybercrime fads, McAfee reports. "Ransomware, steadily increasing quarter over quarter, has become a popular avenue for cybercriminals," the firm states. "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."

Infections related to botnets have reached a 12-month high, and the United States is typically the global hub of botnet control servers. Thumb drive and password-stealing malware also showed significant growth in Q2 with nearly 1.2 million new samples. Even more, McAfee Labs recorded an average of 2.7 million new bad URLs per month – scareware sites, phishing sites, etc – during the second quarter.

"In June, these new URLs were related to about 300,000 bad domains, which is equivalent to 10,000 new malicious domains every day," McAfee reports. "Of the new bad-reputation URLs, 94.2-percent host malware, exploits or code that have been specifically designed to hijack computers."

To read the full report, download and view the PDF file here. The findings are provided by the McAfee Labs team of 500 multidisciplinary researchers in 30 countries which "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."

 

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  • 28 Hide
    xendrome , September 4, 2012 10:10 PM
    AKA: Time to scare people into buying our crappy product.
  • 22 Hide
    Kami3k , September 4, 2012 10:32 PM
    jdog2pt0Been using McAfee for years. Nothing more wrong with it than any other Firewall/Anti-virus suite out there. You're just like those morons that flame Firefox without any justifiable reasoning.


    Or we prefer products that never sucked to begin with.
  • 19 Hide
    azathoth , September 4, 2012 10:44 PM
    Best defense against Mal-ware is user experience. If something seems fishy, don't click it.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    xendrome , September 4, 2012 10:10 PM
    AKA: Time to scare people into buying our crappy product.
  • 22 Hide
    Kami3k , September 4, 2012 10:32 PM
    jdog2pt0Been using McAfee for years. Nothing more wrong with it than any other Firewall/Anti-virus suite out there. You're just like those morons that flame Firefox without any justifiable reasoning.


    Or we prefer products that never sucked to begin with.
  • 19 Hide
    azathoth , September 4, 2012 10:44 PM
    Best defense against Mal-ware is user experience. If something seems fishy, don't click it.
  • 2 Hide
    azraa , September 4, 2012 10:46 PM
    Come on guys, talking about AVs of choice, is like talking about religion or politics on the interwebz, you will never win.

    We all have a personal opinion. Probably some may concur on what AVs the do NOT like, but thats it.
  • 17 Hide
    zed273 , September 4, 2012 10:46 PM
    I wonder if McAfee's statistics count its latest update as a virus. Because it pretty much acted like one, cutting of my SIL's laptop's internet access entirely and had me spending hours trying to diagnose.

    Neither NOD32 nor MSE have EVER done this to ANY of my other PCs. Is that "justifiable reasoning" enough?
  • 2 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 4, 2012 10:51 PM
    xendromeAKA: Time to scare people into buying our crappy product.


    People that need AV won't be getting one, it's usually:

    A: "I'm smart enough to avoid all malware. Oh shi-"

    B: "Virus? What's that?"
  • 17 Hide
    beayn , September 4, 2012 10:55 PM
    I read this while uninstalling McAfee on machine #5 today alone (6 machines on friday and 6 more on thursay) because an Update breaks internet access.

    zed273 you're not the only one.

    jdog2pt0Been using McAfee for years. Nothing more wrong with it than any other Firewall/Anti-virus suite out there. You're just like those morons that flame Firefox without any justifiable reasoning.
    Read my message above. I work with dozens of AV suites every day. McAfee and Kaspersky are the two worst culprits for totally screwing systems up. Count yourself lucky for having used it for years without issues.
  • 8 Hide
    spartanmk2 , September 4, 2012 11:14 PM
    Avast! is good enough for me :D 
  • 2 Hide
    bllue , September 5, 2012 12:24 AM
    Malwarebyte's Anti-Malwares and NOD32 is the only combo you'll ever want
  • 0 Hide
    beayn , September 5, 2012 12:52 AM
    bummermankeep your important files on a separate drive and installl free Malwarebytes to clean your bugs if you get them. Then, worst case-you spend a few hours reinstalling the operating system. Anybody that installs free bloatware on new comps and then harresses the user everytime they log in to make a purchase is scum
    Unfortunately a single scanner isn't enough these days. You'll want your usual installed AV scanner, Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, Spybot, ESET Online Scanner (If you don't use NOD32 AV). If you want to go all out, add in Dr Web free scanner, TDSS Killer for a common rootkit (ironically from Kaspersky), House Call from Trend Micro and GMER rootkit scanner. Then to finish it off, make sure things are clean with Hijackthis.

    The first 4 are usually enough, but if you're particularly bad (or good) at getting infected, use the rest listed.



  • 5 Hide
    misterawsome , September 5, 2012 1:43 AM
    that program is almost worst than malware.
  • 1 Hide
    zeratul600 , September 5, 2012 2:20 AM
    Lol i read that as McAfee it's the largest malware rise in four years... and i nodded after reading that title LOL! i hate how they try to get in my pc everytime that the useless piece of !@# at adobe ask me to download a new update!
  • 7 Hide
    Nakal , September 5, 2012 2:50 AM
    Wait, McAfee can detect Malware!?!?
  • 4 Hide
    rds1220 , September 5, 2012 4:03 AM
    NakalWait, McAfee can detect Malware!?!?


    Barely, McAfee, Kapersky and Norton are garbage. No I'm not pulling this out of my butt I work in IT and can tell you these AV programs are horrible. I use Avast and Malwarebytes and have had no problems.
  • 2 Hide
    assasin32 , September 5, 2012 4:32 AM
    Windows Firewall/Antivirus, thats what I use and put on computers on everything I manage for friends and family. Make it stupid proof, make it invisible, it updates on it's own and doesn't require any interaction as long as you schedule it to do scans, so you don't have to worry about that or if they kept up with the subscription for the paid AV's. If I had to build a computer for a friend tommrow I would put Google Chrome on that list as well because of the forced updates that are invisible to the normal user, and it just works. So it goes back to the whole stupid proof thing.

    Been using MBAM (malwarebytes anti malware) for close to a year I think and it is almost to the same level of simplicity besides when there is a new version it requires a few clicks to make it download the new version which has kept me from putting it on the other PC's as I doubt my friends and family will bother to do that. Though it remains relatively invisible and works well with MSE once you put the exceptions in both programs and adds an extra layer of security.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2012 7:06 AM
    And how many infections/attacks their products (usually the installers) are responsible for?
    That would be the most pertinent information in their reports.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , September 5, 2012 7:30 AM
    And this is new how? Malware is always on the rise according to the security firms who earn more money by scaring people...
  • -1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , September 5, 2012 11:29 AM
    Step 1: Stay away from pron/dodgy music/video sites
    Step 2: Add something to your hosts file
    http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/
    Step 3: Change your pop-up blocker to high (IE9)
    Step 4: Ignore the comments stating that you 'need' another browser. You don't.
    Step 5: Have two accounts on your computer, one admin, but run as the 'standard' account. Do it!

    Done.

    P.s. Hardly no-one will follow the above and then complain when they get hit by a virus.
    P.P.s I wonder how much of that malware is specifically for the mac?
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