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….With plenty left over to infect every inhabitant of Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco and Vatican City. No. It’s not tulip fever. It’s malware.
According to a McAfee Labs report, last year, more than 75 million unique malware samples hit the Internet, which is more than the entire population of The Netherlands and then some.
Security expert Vincent Weafer said, “Increasingly, we’ve seen that no organization, platform or device is immune to the increasingly sophisticated and targeted threats. On a global basis, we are conducting more of our personal and business transactions through mobile devices, and this is creating new security risks and challenges in how we safeguard our commercial and personal data.” And Android has been the biggest target for mobile malware writers.
On the Web, Business-Standard.com reports that in the last quarter of 2011, the total number of active malicious URLs was more than 700,000. “The vast majority of new malicious sites are located in the United States, followed by The Netherlands, Canada, South Korea and Germany. Overall, North America housed the largest amount of servers hosting malicious content, at more than 73 percent, followed by Europe-Middle East at more than 17 percent and Asia Pacific at 7 percent.”
In another study, PrivacyRights.org observed that the number of reports of data breaches via hacking, malware, fraud and insiders more than doubled since 2009 with more than 40 breaches reported in just the fourth quarter of 2011. The leading network threat was from vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows remote procedure calls. This was followed closely by SQL injection and cross-site scripting attack; remote attacks that could be launched at selected targets anywhere around the globe.
So what’s the good news? The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco and Vatican City are small countries; there could’ve been so many unique malware samples hitting the Internet that we would’ve had to use the populations of China and India as metaphors. While comparatively speaking that’s good news.