F-Secure predicts million viruses by end of 2008

April 2, 2008 – 5:03 AM

The amount of new malware has never been higher. Our labs are receiving an average of 25,000 malware samples every day, seven days a week. If this trend continues, the total number of viruses and Trojans will pass the one million mark by the end of 2008.

While there are more viruses being created than ever before, people often actually report seeing less of them. One reason behind this illusion is that malware authors are once again changing their tactics in how to infect our computers. A year or two ago, most malware was spread via e-mail attachments, which resulted in mass outbreaks like Bagle, Mydoom and Warezov.

Nowadays sending .EXE attachments in e-mail doesn’t work so well for the criminals because almost every company and organization is filtering out such risky attachments from their e-mail traffic. The criminals’ new preferred way of spreading malware is by drive-by downloads on the Web. These attacks often still start with an e-mail spam run but the attachment in the e-mail has been replaced by a web link, which takes you to the malicious web site. So instead of getting infected over SMTP, you get infected over HTTP.

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