Malware writers didn't take a vacation in 2013. Just the opposite, McAfee noted a sharp rise in ransomware, Android malware, suspicious URLs, and other malicious attempts to steal users' data, which the security firm published in its Threat Report for the fourth quarter of 2013. When combining all of its findings across mobile and desktop, security firm McAfee said it detected 200 new threats every minute, or more than three for every second that passed in 2013.
One of the growing threats is that of malicious signed binaries, which are applications that have obtained a certificate from a certificate authority (CA) or its proxy verifying the service provider owns the application. According to McAfee, the threat of digitally signed malware is expanding faster than ever before -- McAfee noted more than 2.3 million new and unique signed binaries in Q4 2013, representing a 52 percent sequential increase.
In terms of mobile, it's no surprise tha Android continues to be a top target, considering it's the most popular mobile platform out there. McAfee said it collected 2.47 million new mobile malware samples in 2013, including 744,000 in Q4 alone. As for those specific to Android, McAfee said its Android malware zoo of unique samples grew 197 percent year-over-year.
On a positive note, the number of new rootkit malware seems to be declining over time, though this is partially offset by the total number of rootkits showing steady growth over the last several years.