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It's official, there's a crapload of malware on the Internet

Man, I wish this chart illustrated my salary over the past five years. Sadly, however, it's AV-Test.org's look at malware in the wild.

The actual number of unique samples doesn't necessarily mean all that much. So many of the nasties floating around the Internet are just mutations of other infections. Just look at the vast array of crud SmitFraudFix cleans up - it's a whole lot more than the original SmitFraud infection.

What's much more alarming is the number of infected PCs. Trend Micro points out the following in their blog post: "in the first six months of 2008, [Trend Micro] recorded that 253.4 million systems were infected with malware. The comparable volume for 2009 is almost double at 491.2 million."

That's a whole lotta infections. Trend's opinion on how to tackle the growing threat? Look to The Cloud, of course. They offer four possible benefits:
  1. Each client is a part of a real-time global protection network.
  2. When the network detects an Internet security threat on behalf of any one participant in the network, all participants are automatically and immediately protected.
  3. All devices that connect to the Internet are protected. This protection complements your existing antivirus security solution.
  4. There's correlation among the global protection network.
With so many threats, a global defense network makes a lot of sense to me. It would be even better if security providers joined forces to create a stronger, more responsive system than any one provider could on their own. I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: av-test, charts, graphs, malware, news, reports, security, spyware, statistics, trojan, virus

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