09 Dec 2010

Malware volumes increasing, lifespans shortening

According to a new study, malware authors are becoming increasingly creative in their methods of bypassing internet security measures. However, the average lifespan of malware is dropping, because most threats are detected and eliminated within 24 hours of their infiltration.

However, an antivirus company says short malware lifespan is no reason for the public to consider their computers safe from threats. According to their study, the number of new malware threats created each day jumped 14 percent, from 55,000 in 2009 to 63,000 this year. Fifty-four percent of detected malware was active for fewer than 24 hours.

Experts say the surge in the number of malware is the result hackers working harder than ever to evade malware detection techniques, which have grown more sophisticated each year. "Since 2003, new threats have increased at a rate of 100 percent or more," Luis Corrons, technical director at the antivirus company. "Yet so far in 2010, purely new malware has increased by only 50 percent, significantly less than the historical norm."

Corrons warned against complacency on the part of computer users. He predicts hackers will combine new and old tactics to create more dangerous threats in 2011.