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Study says malware attacks are on the rise, mobile threats becoming more serious

Dan Graziano
September 4th, 2012 at 6:40 PM

We are losing the war against cybercriminals, according to security firm McAfee. The company revealed in its quarterly “Threats Report” stating that the frequency of malware attacks is now growing at the fastest pace in four years. McAfee researchers found more than 8 million new kinds of malware in the second quarter, a 23% increase from the first quarter, and claim there are now more than 90 million unique strands of malware in circulation, CNNMoney reported. While traditional Windows PCs are still the most targeted by cybercriminals, attacks targeting OS X computers and mobile devices are on the rise.

“Attacks that we’ve traditionally seen on PCs are now making their way to other devices,” said Vincent Weafer, head of McAfee Labs. “This report highlights the need for protection on all devices that may be used to access the Internet.”

The firm found nearly 13,000 different kinds of malware targeting mobile devices this year compared to less than 2,000 in 2011, and virtually all attacks targeted Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system. “Android malware shows no signs of slowing down, putting users on high alert,” McAfee warned.

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