20 Jan 2011

Malware doubled in 2010

The amount of malware that appeared in 2010 was double the amount in 2009.

According to a report released by Sophos, new malware appears every 0.9 seconds. Last year saw 95,000 unique pieces of malware. In the same timeframe, 40 percent of social networking users received malware through social media sites. The largest jump was by 57 percent for people receiving spam through social networks.

Currently, 16 percent of all spam, originates in the United States. France and the UK saw an increase of their spam as well, with each representing 4 percent.

"We're seeing so much more malware and phishing attempts with social media, and we're seeing a lot of concern with businesses, but we're not seeing businesses restrict user access, which is surprising," said Beth Jones, senior researcher at Sophos. "because if I was a corporation, I'd be far more concerned with data loss than with a malware incident."

Facebook is the largest social networking site and any user can create an application, which has drawn some criticism for the company. A poll conducted by Sophos saw more than 95 percent in favor of Facebook adopting Apple’s “walled garden,” which verifies each application.