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.