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Windows malware dwarfs other viral threats

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The vast majority of malware - more than 99 per cent - targets Windows PCs, according to a new survey by German anti-virus firm G-Data.

G-Data reckons 99.4 per cent of all new malware of the first half of 2010 targeted Microsoft’s operating system. Just 0.6 per cent of the 1,017,208 new malware programs discovered in 1H2010 targeted other systems, such as Apple Mac boxes and servers running Unix.

The figures help to place much-publicised but rare malware attacks against mobile phones and other platforms in context with the overarching Windows malware threat.

G-Data reckons the rate of virus production in 1H10 is 50 per cent up from the same period last year. It predicts 2010 as a whole will witness two million malware samples.

Social networks and their members have become a major target for Windows-based malware attacks. As in previous years, Trojan horses dominate the top five malware categories, with a share of 42.6 per cent of malware samples. G Data bundles the growing population of rogue antivirus (scareware) packages in this sample.

Malware such as downloaders and droppers retained the second place in G Data's chart, with a share of 20.3 per cent. Spyware and backdoors occupied the third and fourth berths in the G Data chart, almost neck and neck with 12.8 per cent and 12 per cent of samples respectively.

Worms occupied fifth place in the chart, with 53,609 malware programs or 5.3 per cent of the total.

The complete G Data malware report for the first half of 2010 can be downloaded here. ®

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