• Over six million new malware samples were created in Q2 2012
  • Three out of every four malware infections are caused by Trojans
  • New variant of the ‘Police Virus’ emerges
  • The full report is available at https://press.pandasecurity.com/press-room/reports/

PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, today published its Quarterly Report for Q2, analyzing the IT security events and incidents from April through June 2012. In the second quarter of 2012 alone, more than six million new malware samples were created, a similar figure to the first quarter.

South Korea Tops List of Infections per Country for First Time Ever

The average number of infected PCs across the globe stands at 31.63 percent, falling almost four percentage points compared to Q1, according to Panda Security’s Collective Intelligence data.  South Korea led this ranking (57.30 percent of infected PCs) for the first time ever, up by almost three percentage points compared to Q1. China took the second spot (51.94 percent), followed by Taiwan and Bolivia. The list of least infected countries is dominated by European countries with nine out of the first ten places being occupied by them, the only exception being Uruguay. The top-ranked country is Switzerland (18.40 of infected PCs), followed by Sweden (19.07 percent), the only nations with fewer than 20 percent of computers infected. Norway, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Hungary and Holland are the other eight countries with the least malware infections.

Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, states: “The list of least infected countries is dominated by some of the world’s most technologically advanced nations, with the sole exception of South Korea. Even though there may be other factors that influence these results, there seems to be a clear connection between technological development and malware infection rates.”

Countries with the most malware infections

Malware Statistics

Trojans continued to account for most of the new threats created this quarter (78.92 percent); worms took second place, comprising 10.78 percent of samples; followed by viruses at 7.44 percent. The last place was occupied by adware/spyware at 2.69 percent

Interestingly, viruses continued their decline, moving from second place in the 2011 Annual Report (14.24 percent) to third place (7.44 percent) this quarter. Worms maintained their second position, rising from 9.30 percent last quarter to almost 11 percent this quarter.

When it comes to the number of infections caused by each malware category, Trojans once again topped the ranking, accounting for more infections than in the first quarter (76.18 percent compared to 66.30 percent). Viruses came second (7.82 percent), followed by worms (6.69 percent). “It is interesting to note that worms have only caused six percent of infections despite accounting for almost 11 percent of all new malware”, says Corrons. “The figures corroborate what is well known: massive worm epidemics have become a thing of the past and have been replaced by an increasing avalanche of banking Trojans and specimens such as the Police Virus.”

The Quarter at a Glance

In the report, PandaLabs highlights several top security incidents that occurred during Q2: the proliferation and evolution of the so-called ‘Police Virus’ from scareware to ransomware, and Flame, a cyber-espionage virus that has become one of the highlights of the year.

The report also covers the latest cases of cyber-crime, such as a hacker attack on Wikipedia users, the exploitation of a major security hole in Iran’s banking system, and the new ways found by law enforcement agencies to fight data theft. Finally, it includes information about the latest attacks on mobile phones and social networking sites, the cyber-espionage operations between nations such as the United States and Yemen, or the traditional cyber-conflict between North and South Korea.

PandaLabs advises all users to keep their computers adequately protected with a solution like Panda Security’s free Panda Cloud Antivirus.

The quarterly report can be downloaded from: https://press.pandasecurity.com/press-room/reports/