PandaLabs published its Quarterly Report for Q1, analysing the IT security events and incidents from January through March 2015. The anti-malware laboratory detected over 225 000 new malware strains per day in the first quarter of the year, with peaks reaching 500 000. This record-breaking figure represents a 40% increase over Q1 2014 and is well above the average for the entire year, which stood at approximately 205 000 new malware samples per day. Most of these specimens were variants of known malware, conveniently modified by virus writers to evade detection by antivirus laboratories. Trojans continued to be the most common threat type, representing 72.75% of all new malware and the main source of infections at 76.05% of the total.
The first months of the year were dominated by ransomware attacks – especially CryptoLocker. Ransomware has become cyber-criminals’ preferred method to make money from companies’ stolen information. Ten companies in the oil and gas maritime transportation sector, fell victim to this type of attack, as revealed by Panda Security in a report on a hacking campaign dubbed “Operation Oil Tanker: The Phantom Menace” which targeted oil tankers.
Other popular attack methods exploited over the past quarter include social networks scams and mobile malware. One of the most notable scams made use of a fake $500 Zara gift card giveaway on Facebook to trick users. The scam spread like wildfire – within a few hours over 5000 people had joined the event and more than 124 000 invites had been sent out.
The results show that Android was the main target for mobile malware attacks, this time through malicious SMS messages.
The average number of infected PCs across the globe stands at 36.51%. China once again led the ranking with 48.01% of infected PCs, followed by Turkey at 43.33% and Peru at 42.18%.
The list of least infected countries is dominated by European countries, the top one being Norway with 22.07%. Other countries with a malware infection rate below the worldwide average include Denmark (28.18%), Finland (28.59%), Venezuela (33.35%) and USA (34.03%).
The full report is available here.