38 Interesting Malware Statistics

More and more devices are connected nowadays, risking the safety of our finances, privacy, and personal data. Infectious codes like malware, malicious software, and viruses pose a real threat both to businesses and individuals.

In most cases, malware cannot damage your hardware (though some crypto mining malware can destroy devices, but more on that later). It will, however, mess up your data by stealing it, encrypting it, or deleting it. Some malware can also hijack your processor and power resources, change core functions, or spy on your online activities.

Learn about the newest threats and trends in these malware statistics to see what you ought to keep an eye on in 2019. Stay safe.

Top 5 Malware Stats to Remember

  • The AV-TEST Institute registers over 350,000 new malicious programs, malware, and unwanted programs per day

  • Every 7 seconds a new malware is released

  • The most affected country is Algeria, where 32.41% of computers are infected by malware

  • According to a McAfee study, malware revenue can reach $1 billion by 2020

  • In just a single month in 2018, 57,000 new malware threats were detected

General Statistics

1. Between December 2018 and January 2019, malware activity has increased by 61%.

The increased activity was noticed with malspam (or malware spam, i.e. the malware that’s delivered via email) and across multiple malware categories. WannaCry—a ransomware worm that targeted PCs running Windows—took the lead among these.


2. The AV-TEST Institute registers over 350,000 new malicious programs, malware, and potentially unwanted applications every single day.

This should give you an idea of just how many threats are created each day—and the numbers are alarming. The total distribution of threats over the last year was 77.70% for malware, and 22.30% for potentially unwanted applications (PUA).


3. New malware is released every 7 seconds.

Just in the first half of 2018, the amount of new malware was already equivalent to what had come out during the entirety of 2017, and that’s scary. It’s not too surprising, though, since it’s the costliest type of cyberattack for businesses and individuals alike.


4. In just one month in 2018, 57,000 new malware threats were detected.

If you want to know how many computer viruses are released every month, you can start here. Even though cybercriminals aren’t changing the basics of their operations, they constantly have to update their black hat portfolio and are always one or several steps ahead of security systems.


5. The cost of malware attacks increased by 11% over 2018.

The overall price of cyberattacks is on the increase across the board, but so far malware shows the fastest growth. The priciest attacks are web-based attacks and malware programs. The cost of ransomware and malicious insider attacks is increasing at the fastest rate, but both are still tagging along behind malware.


6. In Accenture’s analysis of almost 1,000 cyberattacks, malware was the most frequent one.

In many countries, it was also the most expensive type of cyberattack for organizations, as well as the priciest for various countries to resolve.


7. In 2017, 1 in 13 web requests led to malware, a 3% increase from 2016.

Symantec decided to test URLs for viruses, and they learned that 1 in 13 turned out to be malicious. In 2016, on the other hand, it was determined that 1 in 20 URLs were unsafe.


8. In 2018, the top 5 most successful anti-virus detectors were Bitdefender at 100%, McAfee at 98.8%, Trend Micro at 98.8%, Kaspersky Lab VIPRE at 99.8%, and Avast at 99.7%.

The computer virus stats are looking good, but beware. Only one successful attack needs to breach that wall, and your data is toast. Also, attacks like social engineering and some fileless techniques are either very difficult or impossible to detect this way.


9. The number of users who rely on free desktop security is 44%, a definite increase in the last couple of years.

There has been a drop in the number of users who have no antivirus software, which now only amounts to 0.5%.

The Different Examples of Malware

10. JavaScript is used by 93.6% of all websites.

Sometimes JavaScript malware requires no actions on the part of the user for it to be damaging. Cybercriminals are in on this, so they often infect popular websites. They want to redirect the website’s legitimate traffic to malicious web pages.


11. According to Sophos, “82% of malicious sites are hacked legitimate sites”!

If you thought that big, legit websites can’t infect you with malware, you thought wrong. JavaScript is so prevalent in website building, infecting it can be a breeze for some criminals.  The “drive-by downloads” have become the newest malware threat you need to look out for. Tip: Scan a link for viruses by using tools such as WOT.


12. Over the last year, Mac-related malware occurrences have increased by 270%.

Apple users ought to prioritize device security as soon as possible. New viruses for Mac are piling in, and you could be the next target. If you’ve been wondering, Can an iPhone get malware from the internet? you haven’t been paying attention. Even though Android is more likely to be attacked, your Apple phone is likely in dire need of some heavy-duty iPhone malware detection software.


13. Newly developed Windows malware samples have decreased by 3%.

Windows is still the main operating system for most users. This is what makes it an obvious target for attackers worldwide, making this one of the more notable malware statistics from 2018.


14. If mobile malware maintains its current pace, according to a McAfee study, its revenue could reach $1 billion by 2020.

While 2018 was the mobile-malware year, in 2019 malware became omnipresent in a way, even more so than before. Smart home tech is becoming more and more popular, and the growth seems to be so fast, companies have completely forgotten about anti-malware tests and security issues.


15. The app categories with the most malicious mobile apps are Lifestyle at 27%, Music & Audio at 20%, and Books & References at 10%.

Lifestyle seems to be the most targeted sector, and Android is more likely to be a target than iOS, mostly because of outdated operating systems. The Internet Security Threat Report details a huge increase in the amount of mobile malware, which is no surprise since users are now more likely to go online via mobile devices. Further down the line, the safer apps with lower risks of malicious malware are House & Home (5%), Art & Design (4%), and Education (4%).


16. In 2018, only 20% of Android devices were running on the newest major version of their operating system.

Running an outdated OS, as we can see among both desktop and mobile malware statistics, increases the risk of a malware attack.


17. There has been an 8,500% increase in coinminer detections.

With only a couple lines of code, hackers can hijack your computer processing power and cloud CPU usage. They then use these resources to further their coinmining gold rush. Coinmining is one of the fastest-growing recent malware threats. This criminal activity can cost individuals and companies a great deal, slowing down and overheating their devices. In the case of companies, they might suffer from potential downtime and a charge for CPU usage.


18. In 2018 over 4,200 websites around the world started hijacking visitors’ browsers to mine the Monero cryptocurrency.

In a recent crypto malware attack, over 4,000 websites—including several government sites—were compromised. The targets included the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, the US Courts information portal, Manchester’s city council, the Swedish police, the City University of New York, and many others.


19. There is a 92% increase in new malware downloader variants.

Downloader malware is a malicious program that downloads other malicious software. Once the device is infected, it gets silently attacked by other malware.


20. Manchester debuts with over 500,000 detections.

The VPN filter malware-bombed hundreds of thousands of small businesses and consumers with cyberattacks. The VPN and SamSam were still bested by the 2017 WannaCry and NotPetya malware attacks. As we’re seeing more and more, recent malware attacks have become increasingly targeted and more sophisticated.


21. 77% of the malware attacks that compromised organizations utilized exploits or fileless techniques.</