Trojans are still the cyber criminals delivery mechanism of choice accounting for nearly three out of every four new malware samples in circulation, according to a new report.
Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, PandaLabs, analyzed IT security events and incidents from January through March 2013. Despite their inability to replicate, trojans -- malware that appears to have a desirable function, but instead harbors a malicious payload -- accounted for nearly 80 percent of all computer infections worldwide, slightly higher than PandaLab's 2012 figures.
“Trojans are cyber-crooks’ weapon of choice, which explains why they account for most new specimens in circulation and infections triggered in the first quarter of the year,” explained Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs in a press statement.
Trojans are capable of triggering massive infections through compromised Web sites that exploit vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins like Java, Adobe Reader, etc. This attack method allows hackers to infect thousands of computers in just a few minutes with the same Trojan or different ones, as attackers have the ability to change the Trojan they use based on multiple parameters such as the victim’s location, the operating system used, etc.," said the report.
Rounding out the other delivery methods were viruses (7.48 percent), worms (5.89 percent) and adware/spyware (3.98), according to the report.
PandaLabs also delved into which nations had the most and least infected computers. On the healthy end, Finland (17 percent of infected PCs) was followed by Sweden (20 percent) and Switzerland (20.99 percent). The most infected systems reside in China the only nation with more than a 50 percent infection rate. The United States has a fairly clean bill of health, with 27.79 percent of its computers harboring malware.
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