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PandaLabs Q2 2014 Results: PUPs on the increase

The Q2 2014 results from PandaLabs show that Malware is still being created at record levels, roughly 15 million new samples were generated – an average of 160 000 daily.

Trojans remain the most common type of malware, accounting for 58.20% of new malware and 62.8% of infections. This figure is significantly lower compared to the previous quarter at 71.85% and 79.9%. The difference is however not due to a decline in the number of new Trojans, but rather a substantial increase in PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs). In recent months there has been a notable increase in software bundlers, which install PUPs – without the user’s consent – along with the original program. According to the report PUPs account for 24.77% of infections. In most instances these programs change browser settings, display unwanted advertising or install additional programs that the user may or may not want.

Worms are the second most common malware at 19.68% accounting for 2.66% of infections, followed by adware/spyware (0.39%) which account for 7.09% of infections and viruses (0.38%) accounting for 2.68% of infections.

The second quarter saw an increase in attacks on mobile devices, targeting Apple iOS in addition to Android. The recent attacks on Android have involved fake antivirus apps and ransomeware. There were also a number of attacks affecting major companies across different sectors; companies such as eBay, Spotify and Domino’s Pizza.

In April an extremely dangerous security hole, dubbed Heartbleed, was discovered. It affected many major websites and happened at the same time as support for Windows XP ended. It was essentially a security hole in the OpenSSL library, which is used for encrypting communications. Servers using the library were then vulnerable to attacks. Many Internet services, such as webmail, social networks, online banking and more made use of this library to encrypt communication and to protect the data exchanged (bank login credentials, passwords, etc.).

The global infection rate has increased to 36.87%. China remains the country with the most infections, with a rate of 51.05%, followed by Peru with 44.34% and Turkey with 44.12%.

These figures show that Asia and Latin America have the highest level of infections, with Europe ranking the lowest. Sweden (22.13%), Norway (22.26%) and Germany (22.88%) show the lowest infection rates within Europe. Japan has an infection rate of 24.21%, falling within the top ten least infected countries and the only non-European country to appear in this list.

To see the full report click here.

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