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McAfee Alert: Personal Computers and Smartphones Threats at Four-Year High

McAfee Labs today released McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2012, revealing that cyber threats to personal computers and smartphones have reached a four-year high. Mobile malware has increased significantly, driven by a more than 1,200 per cent increase quarter-on-quarter in Android threats that have been collected and identified. Similarly, the number of malware samples collected by McAfee Labs has increased from more than 75 million at the end of Q4 2011 to 83 million by the end of Q1 2012.

Key findings from the report include the following:

  • 8,000 total mobile malware samples were collected by the end of Q1 2012
  • Nearly 7,000 Android threats have been collected and identified through the end of Q1
  • Q1 2012 exhibited the largest number of PC malware detected per quarter in the last four years
  • 83 million pieces of malware samples were collected by the end of Q1, up from 75 million samples at the end of Q4 2011
  • Global spam levels dropped to slightly more than 1 trillion monthly spam messages by the end of March

ADVISORY

May 23, 2012

Consumer Alert: McAfee Finds Personal Computers and Smartphones Threats at Four-Year High

8 million new malicious software samples have been detected since January 2012 due to unrelenting spammers and hackers

Since the start of the new year, PC malware (malicious software) has already reached the highest level in four years, according to the McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2012. The report exposes a disturbing increase in malicious malware across all PC, Mac and mobile devices. Most importantly, McAfee detected a significant increase in malware targeting Android platform devices. Mac attacks are also on the rise, indicating that total malware could reach the 100 million mark within the year – a record number.

Report Findings:

  • 8,000 total mobile malware samples were collected showing a sharp increase during Q1 2012.
  • Nearly 7,000 Android threats have been collected and identified through the end of Q1.
  • Q1 2012 had the largest number of PC malware detected per quarter in the last four years – 83 million pieces of malware samples were collected by the end of Q1, up from 75 million samples at the end of Q4 2011.
  • Mac malware is still significantly less prevalent than PC malware, with approximately 250 new Mac malware samples, and approximately 150 new Mac fake anti-virus malware samples in Q1.
  • Global spam levels dropped to slightly more than 1 trillion monthly spam messages by the end of March.

Expert quote:

  • “In the first quarter of 2012 we saw a giant spike in mobile malware, a jump targeting mostly the Android platform. What was once hundreds of threats in the middle of 2011, is already into the thousands,” said Robert Siciliano, online security threat expert at McAfee. “The majority of mobile attacks, and their malware, originate and attack third-party markets. Be sure to use and install software and applications only found on official marketplaces, this will help reduce the risk of compromising your Android device. At the end of the day, if you’re not protecting and taking care of your devices, and the data on them, today’s cybercriminals will.”
  • “It’s more important than ever for consumers to practice safe surfing to protect themselves, their families, their confidential data and digital assets,” said Brenda Moretto, Manager of Canadian Consumer Sales at McAfee. “Information security should always be top of mind regardless of whether consumers are using computers or mobile devices.Be vigilant when it comes to protecting your Internet devices from malware and spyware by using safe online search tools and full security protection.”

For more information:

● Tips and best practices to help consumers stay protected from these types of threats:

https://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/consumer-threat-alerts/mcafee-finds-personal-computer-and-smartphone-threats-at-four-year-high

About McAfee

McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security.

McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com

McAfee Canada is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, with regional offices across Canada. The company’s Consumer Software Research and Development facility is based in Waterloo, Ontario.