Malware increases on all platforms, McAfee says

First-quarter threat report finds PC malware at the highest levels in four years, and increases on the Android platform and Mac.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam

Malware increased significantly across several platforms in the first quarter, with PC malware reaching the highest levels in four years, according to a McAfee report released today.

The first-quarter report (you can read the full PDF below) also noted a huge increase in malware -- short for malicious software -- targeting the Android platform and a rise in Mac malware. The findings indicate total malware could reach the 100 million mark within the year, with the U.S. being the primary source of cyberattacks, according to a press release from McAfee.

McAfee said 8,000 total mobile malware samples were collected in the first quarter. "This large increase was due in part to McAfee Labs' advancements in the detection and accumulation of mobile malware samples," the company noted in the release. Nearly 7,000 were Android threats, mainly coming from third-party app markets. This is up from 600 Android samples collected at the end of the fourth quarter last year.

In the first quarter, McAfee collected 83 million pieces of PC malware samples, up from 75 million samples collected by the end of the fourth quarter last year. The company cited increases in rootkits, a stealth form of malware, and password stealers as major contributors. Also, e-mail continued to be a medium for targeted attacks.