According to AV-Test, an antivirus testing group, ransomware data security threats actually represented less than 1% of the total 600 million unique malicious programs for Windows in 2016. However, although they are rare, they can be incredibly damaging.
This is the full list of threat prevalence:
– Viruses (37.60%)
– Worms (25.44%)
– Trojans (23.74%)
These types of threats are the most commonly seen, but there are others:
– Other (4.14%)
– Scripts (3.42%)
– Password-trojans (2.74%)
– Backdoors (1.00%)
– Ransomware (0.94%)
– Bots (0.84%)
– Macro-viruses (0.10%)
– Exploits (0.10%)
– Dialler (0.02%)
In 2016, the most widespread malware family was the notorious file-encrypting Virlock ransomware. Comparing 2015 to 2016, there was a 15% decline in new malware development for Windows. As far as the operating systems go, 70% of malware is targeting Windows, while Android malware accounts for another 5.6%.
Interestingly enough, Linux malware increased by 300% in 2016. One example is the Mirai botnet malware which was spotted that year. Mac OS malware rose by 370%, with the vast majority of the threats classified as “potentially unwanted software”.
In the previous year, the total number of malicious apps for Android reached 4 million. Compared to 2015, the number has doubled in size. Most of these threats are trojanized apps. Android ransomware is not that common, sitting at 0.22%, and it’s even less prevalent than a year before.
AV-Test also made a point that 2016 was incorrectly labelled as the “year of the ransomware”, however, it does deserve the title due to how much damage this type of malware can cause.