Trojan Horse malware now accounts for almost three-quarters of all malware detected globally, according to anti-virus software maker Panda Security, and four-fifths of all infections.
It follows a first quarter in which the company claims that it intercepted more malware samples than ever before and, furthermore, found that almost one-quarter of all PCs in the UK are infected with some form of malware - with the UK considered by Panda to be one of the least infected countries in the world.
These are the conclusions from PandaLabs' first quarter report.
"PandaLabs detected more than 15 million new malware strains over these three months, at an average of more than 160,000 new specimens per day," claimed the report.
It suggested that of these, 71.85 per cent were Trojans, 12.25 per cent were worms, 10.45 per cent were viruses and 5.26 per cent were adware or spyware. Trojans, meanwhile, accounted for 79.9 per cent of all infections detected, according to Panda.
The most "malware-infected countries" included China, with 52.4 per cent of all PCs carrying infections of some sort, and Russia with an infection rate of 41.1 per cent. Both countries are considered major sources of various malware infections, although the prevalence of pirated operating systems and other software is no doubt also a cause.
The UK, Japan, Germany, Norway and Sweden were among the least malware-infected countries, according to Panda. The US infection rate was 31.2 per cent.
The report also examined the rise in attacks on point-of-sale terminals in retail, which it described as "a highly prized target for criminals. Today, it is not a questions of 'if', but rather 'when' they will be attacked".
Retailers therefore need to restrict software execution processes on or around PoS terminals, to identify potentially vulnerable or targeted applications and protect them accordingly, and to control the behaviour of "allowed processes" in order to minimise the potential damage from an exploit to a vulnerability in any software running on the PoS terminal.
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