According to Kaspersky Lab, the number of new malware files detected by its products in 2016 increased to 323,000 per day. This is an increase of 13,000 from the amount in 2015, and a significant jump from the 70,000 files per day identified in 2011.
The number of cyberthreats appearing every day is now so big that it is impossible to process each one of them manually. That’s why automating the malware discovery and analysis process, in combination with human expertise, is the best approach when it comes to fighting modern cyber threats.
As a result, the Kaspersky Lab cloud malware database, includes discoveries by Astraea – a machine-learning based malware analysis system working inside the Kaspersky Lab infrastructure. Over a fifth of the malicious objects included in the cloud database were discovered and identified as malicious by Astraea. The database now carries a billion malicious objects, including viruses, Trojans, backdoors, ransomware, and advertisement applications and their components.
The percentage of malware discovered and added automatically to the Kaspersky Lab cloud database by Astraea has been growing steadily over the last five years: from 7.53 percent in 2012, to 40.5 percent in December 2016. The proportion is growing in line with the number of new malicious files discovered daily by Kaspersky Lab experts and detection systems. This has increased from 70,000 files per day in 2011 to 323,0001 per day in 2016.
“One billion unique malicious files is a remarkable milestone. It shows the scale of the cybercriminal underground, which has developed from several small forums offering customized malicious tools, to the mass production of malware and tailored cybercriminal services,” says Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Head of Anti-Malware Team at Kaspersky Lab.
“It also highlights the quality and evolution of our automated malware analysis technologies. Out of these billion files, more than 200 million have been added by the Astraea machine-learning system. Our advanced systems now not only detect the vast majority of known malware we get on a daily basis, but also discover unknown threats. Although the remaining 800 million files have been added by other internal detection systems, or by experts, the contribution to the Kaspersky Lab cloud database by machine-learning systems is substantial and will continue to grow,” he added.
Astraea is one of the machine-learning malware analysis systems that form part of the Kaspersky Lab protection infrastructure. Astraea automatically analyzes notifications from protected computers and helps uncover previously unknown threats. By using the threats’ metadata (like age, origin, filename, file path and more) the system is able to fully detect threats without information about the file contents.