We’re halfway through a year that’s shaping up to be one of rising danger online, according to McAfee’s latest threat report. Researchers discovered that 2012’s first quarter saw personal computer and smartphone threats reach a four-year high, including an increase in malware across PC, Mac and mobile devices.
The report data covers malware occurrences in the year’s first three months. McAfee released the results in late May.
Highlights from the report’s findings for Q1 2012 include:
According to Adam Wosotowsky, McAfee research analyst, the Android platform’s flexibility makes it uniquely vulnerable to compromise. People can install programs on that platform that aren’t from the Google Android marketplace, which opens it up to third-party forces.
“When we see a lot of these malwares for the phone we are mainly seeing those on third-party sites,” he said. “We are not seeing those on Google marketplace.”
But encouraging data was also to be found on the report.
According to the report data, most servers hosting malicious websites reside in the United States. The report depicts the proportional relationships, but doesn’t list any numerical or percentage values to support that assertion.
McAfee recorded an average of 9,000 new bad websites popping up each day worldwide, a slight decrease from the 9,300 average from Q4 2011.
“It becomes your normal browsing even if you are not out there looking for porn or looking for search terms,” Wosotowsky said. “There is an increased risk of just getting a drive-by download to infect your machine just because you did something normal.”
Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.
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