13 Sep 2010

Study: Windows users are targets of nearly all malware

Windows users are the targets of nearly all malware, a new study has found.

The report, released by a German internet security company, found 99.4 percent of all malware threats are aimed at Microsoft's popular operating system. That leaves just 0.6 percent targeted at machines running Mac and Unix operating systems.

In all, there have been 1,017,208 new malware programs created in the first half of 2010. According to the report, that number sets a new record and is a 50 percent increase over last year's total.

There were 1,588,005 malware programs created in all of 2009.

"The malware industry has published nearly four new viruses per minute in the first half of the year," said internet security expert Eddy Willems in a report published by DaniWeb.

Trojans were the most common malware at 42.6 percent and downloaders and droppers were second at 20.3 percent.

However, a separate study published last month has found that the internet is not sole tool cyber criminals are using to spread viruses. Twenty-seven percent of companies surveyed told an internet security company that a USB device was the origin of a virus on their system.