On Wednesday, PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, reported that one-third of all malware in existence was created in the first 10 months of 2010. The average number of malware threats created every day, including new malware and variants of existing families, has risen from 55,000 in 2009 to 63,000 in 2010 – a rate increase of 14.5 percent. The research lab also revealed that the average lifespan of more than half of all malware has been reduced to just 24 hours, compared to a lifespan of several months that was more common in previous years.
“Since 2003, new threats have increased at a rate of 100 percent or more. Yet so far in 2010, purely new malware has increased by only 50 percent, significantly less than the historical norm,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “This doesn’t mean that there are fewer threats or that the cyber-crime market is shrinking. On the contrary, it continues to expand, and by the end of 2010 we will have logged more new threats in Collective Intelligence than in 2009. It seems hackers are applying economies of scale, reusing old malicious code or prioritizing the distribution of existing threats over the creation of new ones.”
I look for this trend to continue. All you have to do is watch the new headlines to realize that malware attacks and data loss are on the rise.