PandaLabs today published its report analyzing the IT security events and incidents from January through March 2013. In the first quarter of 2013 alone, more than six and a half million new malware samples were created, following the trend of increasingly prevalent malware statistics of previous years.
Trojans continue to dominate the threat landscape, representing nearly three out of every four new malware samples in circulation, similar numbers to those of 2012.
Trojans set a new record, causing nearly 80 percent of all computer infections worldwide. Despite their inability to replicate, 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.
“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.
The average number of infected PCs across the globe stands at 31.13 percent. The countries leading the list of most infections are China (the only nation with more than 50 percent of computers infected), followed by Ecuador (41.01 percent of infected PCs) and Turkey (40.38 percent).
The top ten list of malware-infected countries is completed with Argentina (37.77 percent), Peru (37.43 percent), Taiwan (36.48 percent), Russia (36.21 percent), Poland (33.79 percent), Spain (33.58 percent) and Brazil (33.45 percent). These are joined by another four countries with above-average infection rates: Chile (33.37 percent), Colombia (32.01 percent), Italy (31.97 percent) and Venezuela (31.45 percent).
The list of least infected countries is dominated by European nations. The country with the fewest infections is Finland (17 percent of infected PCs), followed by Sweden (20 percent), and Switzerland (20.99 percent). The other countries with the lowest infection rates are: United Kingdom (21.89 percent), Norway (22.57 percent), Japan (22.82 percent), Germany (22.94 percent), Belgium (23.89 percent), Holland (23.92 percent) and Australia (24.32 percent).
Finally, here is a list of countries that did not make the top ten list, but which had a malware infection rate below the worldwide average: Canada (24.89 percent), Denmark (25.72 percent), Portugal (26.91 percent), Costa Rica (27.22 percent), France (27.43 percent), United States (27.79 percent), Mexico (29.91 percent) and Hungary (30.69 percent).