The number of malware detections soared last year, with an increase of 172 per cent from 2005, according to new research by PandaLabs.Large scale infections caused by a single virus are on the wane, but multiple variants silently infecting computers are on the rise, the study found.
Trojans are now the most prevalent form of malware. More than half (54 per cent) of all new malicious software detected last year was of this type. Its silent nature makes it popular with attackers, the research said. Bots make up 14 per cent of all new malware detected in 2006 and backdoors account for 13 per cent.
The annual report also found that hybrid malware was an increasing trend last year. The current fusion between worms or Trojans and rootkits highlight how difficult it will be distinguish between different malware groups this year, researchers at PandaLabs said.
“Users have a false sense of security, believing there are no dangerous threats. The truth is, however, that there is now more malware than ever,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “We have detected the same amount of malware last year as in the previous fifteen years combined.”
He added: “The fact that malware still spreads using false emails related to Valentine’s Day or Christmas, reveals the need for technological solutions capable of detecting malware in the emails received every day.”
The motivation of cybercriminals during 2006 was once again financial, with the sale of malicous programs online thriving, according to the vendor.