At least 50% of all computers scanned around the globe in January were infected with some kind of malware, according to data gathered from Panda’s free online anti-virus Panda ActiveScan.
As for the most damaging malware threat, Trojans caused the most incidents (59% of all cases), followed by traditional viruses (12%) and worms (9%).
The list of most prevalent malware threats is topped by generic Trojans, followed by downloaders, exploits and adware. It is also worth mentioning the presence of Lineage, an old Trojan that continues to spread and infect systems.
Thailand, China, Taiwan, Russia and Turkey occupy the top positions in the ranking of countries with the largest number of infections (over 50% of scanned computers infected with malware), while other traditional malware hot spots like Brazil or Poland have slipped down the list this month.
“We don’t see many significant changes regarding the number of worldwide infections from month to month," says Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “This just reflects the reality of the current situation:
"Every day we receive some 61 000 new malware samples at our laboratory, and unless you have a solution like Panda Cloud Anti-virus whose latest protection technologies provide near real-time protection, it takes too long for traditional solutions to incorporate new malware signatures. This lapse in time leaves users unprotected against new threats."
Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations, adds: “While South Africa doesn’t occupy the top positions with regards to infections, we are seeing a steady increase in the amount of malware aimed at African users. This malware usually takes the form of money-related scams, targeted at new or inexperienced Internet users."