Andrew is a writer on technology, information security, telecommunications, and more
Articles by Andrew Sanders
Even though antivirus programs work tirelessly to detect and remove malicious software, malware threats are on the rise, infecting more computers than ever before.
How bad is it?
By analyzing past behavior and the steps taken to eradicate problems, we can make several predictions about the future of this industry. Let’s take a look at the latest malware trends, major statistics, and the effects that malware can have on Windows, Android, and Mac devices.
This article will help you stay up to date on:
- Major developments in the malware industry.
- New malware creation trends.
- Malware infection rates by type.
- Infection rates by region and sector.
- The ways different operating systems handle malware threats.
We’ve written extensively on the various attacks that your computer can experience simply by browsing the internet. If you type in the wrong address on your browser, you can get hit by a man-in-the-middle attack. Download the wrong file, and suddenly your browser, homepage, and ads all look different.
Imagine that someone in your computer could see everything you write. Hackers have access to a specific kind of malware known as a keylogger. These pieces of software record and transmit everything you do with your keyboard and mouse. That means every word you type – even words you type and then subsequently delete. It means every email you send, every chat message, every Skype message, every Slack message, every tweet, every Facebook update, and every URL your type into your browser.
Although ransomware is making fewer headlines, it is still effectively targeting businesses and individuals. Over the last few months, ransomware attacks have brought down news organizations during the Christmas holidays, infected home computers via drive-by-downloads, and locked up over 100,000 computers in China.
If you’re wondering whether your computer has been hacked, we have some bad news and some good news. First the bad news: if you suspect you’re infected, then you’re probably right (check with this free vulnerability scanning tool). The amount of new malware on the internet – particularly the kind intended to infect home computers and small businesses – is growing rapidly. Over 350,000 new malware samples are created every day, with a total of 856.62 unique viruses discovered in 2018 alone.
If you’re a systems administrator, you may think your daily task list involves installing security tools, configuring them to protect the latest threats, patching servers and endpoints, and reimaging systems when they get a virus. It’s not a simple job, but its straightforward.
If you’re doing all that, however, you’re still only doing half your job.
Android phones may be lower-cost, more diverse in terms of features, and (in my opinion) more interestingly-designed than their iOS competitors. What they are not, however, is more secure.
When it comes to malware, a lot of us have this idea that our phones and tablets are somehow less vulnerable to viruses than our laptops, PCs, and servers. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth.
Our phones are just as vulnerable to malware and ransomware by malicious programs similar to those that infect computers; mobile phones may even present a larger attack surface due to their abundance.
Everything has a beginning – including computer viruses. In this regard, rootkits can be thought of as the origin of all malicious software. Although malware did exist before the term “rootkit” was coined, it typically involved either subverting vulnerabilities such as default passwords. Rootkits were something different.
If you don’t know what a computer virus is, or haven’t been infected by one before, then you might not know the signs to look out for. People often think that a malware infection looks like something out of a fanciful movie – flashing lights, smoke coming out of your computer tower, a laughing skull appearing on your monitor.