While most of us were relaxing over the Labor Day weekend, the folks at McAfee were finishing up the security firm's second quarter Threat Report (PDF) for 2012. In it, McAfee Labs noted a 1.5 million increase in malware since the previously quarter, as well as a number of new threats like mobile "drive-by downloads" and using Twitter to control mobile botnets. All combined, McAfee detected the largest number of malware in four years.
"With very few exceptions, almost all areas of malware are up this quarter from last (and last quarter had record growth in some areas). One thing is certain: To continue to take the same steps is absurd," McAfee stated in its report.
Fake antivirus remains a popular choice among malware writers, with over 800,000 such samples noted in the wild in Q2. However, Windows PC users aren't the only ones who need to be on their toes.
"All Mac fanboys and -girls are hereby on notice: Mac malware is showing steady, continued growth," McAfee said. "We grant that when compared numerically to Windows malware the numbers are small, but these threats should be taken seriously and Mac users should take precautions. It's simple: Malware can be written for any operating system and platform."
Android users need to be on the lookout for malicious programs too. According to McAfee, Android has been, and continues to be, the most popular target for mobile malware writers.
"Practically all new mobile malware was directed at the Android platform," McAfee said. "The mix included SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spwyware, and destructive Trojans."