Android malware increased from 2,000 to 8,000 items from 2011 to 2012, while the amount of mobile malware increased from a few hundred samples spotted per quarter in 2011 to more than 6,000 in Q1 2012.

According to the McAfee threats report for the first quarter of 2012, these attacks stemmed from third-party markets rather than the official Android market. It said that the attacks were primarily new adware and mobile backdoor malware, along with simple premium-rate SMS-sending malware.

Standard PC malware increased from 60 million in April 2011 to 80 million in January 2012. The amount of new malware detected was also the highest since 2010, with just under seven million samples spotted in Q1 2012.

Around 200-300 samples of Mac malware were spotted, half of which was new per quarter after a major peak in Q2 2011.

Vincent Weafer, senior vice-president of McAfee Labs, said that in Q1, PC malware reached its highest levels in four years and total malware could reach the 100 million mark within the year.

He said: “The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac; and as more homes and businesses use these platforms the attacks will spread.”

On a more positive note, the number of new ZeroAccess, fake anti-virus and Autorun samples fell from previous quarters.