Ransomware for Windows Classified as a Fringe Danger

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Despite the fact that Europol has pronouced ransomware as “the most prominent malware threat”, it was classified as a fringe danger by another measure.

According to the antivirus testing group AV-Test, the recent attacks by WannaCry and NotPetya infections have occupied the headlines lately, however, when summed up, the viruses appeared to be a class of malware which made up less than 1% of 600 million malicious programs for Windows in 2016.

The AV-Test experts claim that last year was wrongly named the “year of ransomware”, though 2016 managed to earn this title due to the mode of action and all the damage the malware has caused to computer systems all over the world.

At the same time, the antivirus testing group confirms that the fourth most widespread malware family over the past year was the file-encrypting Virlock ransomware.

According to a recent report by Microsoft, half a billion emails with ransomware downloaders are sent to Windows systems every quarter.

For instance, despite the attacks on the SWIFT banking network, the banking trojans’ share of 2.74% of all malware also doesn’t capture the damage this virus has caused.

What the statistics has shown, is that there was a 15% decline in the new malware developed for Windows in 2016 compared with 2015, which is a proof for a slowdown in the new threats. The malware developed for Windows accounts for 70% of all malware of the 640 million samples AV-Test counts. The Android malware makes up 5.6%.

The viruses for Linux, like the Mirai botnet malware for example, rose up 300% in 2016, while the macOS malware increased 370%, from 819 different malware threats to 3,033. A great part of the macOS threats are classified as “potentially unwanted software”.

Overall, the number of new malicious Android applications in 2016 reached four million, which is double when compared to 2015. Most of these threats are Trojans. At the same time, the ransomware for Android remained a minor threat at 0.22% of all Android malware which decreased from 12,521 to 8,822 in 2016.

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Nelly Vladimirova
Nelly Vladimirova has been working as a journalist since 1998 with a main focus on Finance, Economics, and IT. In 2004 she graduated the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, as a Bachelor in English Philology and Master in Linguistics and Translation. Later, Nelly received a postgraduate certificate in Business Management from Scott's College, UK. Presently, she is presenting the latest news related to computer security at www.virusguides.com.

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