The scale of malicious software grew in almost every facet in 2012, according to a new report.
Malware continues to be a top cybersecurity problem worldwide, with almost 8 percent of all users experiencing an infection, according to the study by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team at the Department of Homeland Security.
“This is an arms race between software developers trying to design systems and applications that are not vulnerable to malware infection and malicious developers trying to exploit said systems,” the report said.
One of the most popular attack surfaces for these malware infections continues to be Web browsers. Internet Explorer is still the most commonly used browser, which is why it remains a target for malware developers. The report found 20 percent of malware is installed by users clicking and installing the software.
One of the most popular malware programs was Sality, which is a complex peer-to-peer program. It interferes with security applications and injects itself into other computer processes.
The report warned banking trojans, mainly the Zeus program, were also a major threat. Financial institutions from more than 38 countries were targeted in 2012.
The study found phishing and network scanning were also areas of concern. Data from DHS industry partners showed there were almost 217,000 phishing attacks in 2012, which were registered to about 154,000 unique domain names.