PandaLabs, the R&D laboratory of Panda Security, both detected and neutralized more than 84 million new malware samples throughout 2015. This is nine million more than the year previous, according to the corresponding data. The figure means that there were 230,000 new malware samples produced daily over the course of the year.
Last year saw the greatest number of cyberattacks recorded around the world, with a total of 304 million samples, which means that more than a quarter of all malware samples ever recorded were produced in 2015 (27.63%).
It was also a difficult year for multinational companies and governments alike who suffered large scale data theft and interference on their IT systems.
“We predict that the amount of malware created by cybercriminals will continue to grow”, says Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs, “we also can’t forget that the creation of millions of Trojans and other threats corresponds to the cybercriminals’ needs to infect as many users as possible in order to get more money”.
Most powerful malware of 2015: Trojans and PUPs.
In 2015 we saw that Trojans, PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and distinct families of Cryptolocker spread fear among larger businesses worldwide through massive attacks and the theft of thousands of confidential files.
Trojans continued to be the main source of malware (51.45%), comfortable positioned ahead of the rest of the collected samples: viruses (22.79%), followed by worms (13.22%), PUPs (10.71%), and cases of Spyware (1.83%).
Cryptolocker (a type of ransomware) was the main protagonist of cyberattacks throughout the year, according to Corrons, “Cryptolocker is the best bet for cybercriminals, as it is one of the easiest ways of getting money. Also, it has shown itself to be very effective, especially in the case of businesses that don’t think twice about paying to recover their stolen information”.
Biggest infections caused by Trojans
Among all types of malware that cause large infections worldwide, it was Trojans that had the greatest rate of infection (60.30%), albeit 5% down on the figure from 2014.
PUPs were also particularly harmful, with nearly a third of infections resorting to trick techniques to fully enter the targeted PCs, far ahead of Adware / Spyware (5.19%), worms (2.98%), and viruses (2.55%).
China remains one of the most infected countries in the world
Last year was notable for being the year with the highest rate of infections caused on computers. On a geographic level, China was the country with the most infected computers (57.24%), a figure that was nearly 30% more than in 2014. Taiwan was next, with an infection rate of 49.15%, followed by Turkey (42.52%). These three countries remain at the top of the infection rate rankings, just as they were in 2014 and 2013.
Other countries that registered an infection rate that was above the global average included Colombia (33.17%), Uruguay (32.98%), and Spain (32.15%).
Nordic countries register the lowest rate of infection
According to the information gathered regarding countries with the lowest rates of infection, nine of them were in Europe, with Japan being the only country not located in the continent.
The Nordic countries occupied the top positions: Finland was ahead of the rest, with a rate of 20.32%, followed by Norway (20.51%) and Sweden (20.88) – then the UK at 21.34%.
The year at a glance, and trends for 2016
PandaLabs has noted while Flash player is gradually begin fazed out of use other attack methodologies are always willing to fill the gap. Advanced phishing, social media, mobiles, the IoTs and cyber-espionage are covered in more detail on this section of the PandaLabs report.