World of Malware: Guess How Many Viruses Are Currently In Circulation

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bill-swift - April 24, 2012

In an online world where malware with strains of crimeware and ransomware are running amok, you might have wondered at some point where the number of these viruses currently stand. Everyone's computer is at risk from these attacks but some folks write it off as mere exaggerations and ignore the warnings simply because they haven't experienced being infected--yet.

This time around, let's take a more objective look into the world of malware by considering the numbers.

Security company Symantec recently published a summary of its latest Virus Definitions file on April 13th, which contained 17,702,868 separate virus signatures. Don't go into shock over the sheer massiveness of that figure because that doesn't represent the number of malware that's currently infecting Windows machines, Android devices, and Macs all over the world. The definition file only contained 17,595,922 separate detections on April 4th, so that leaves us with 106,946 definitions that were added in 8 days.

A closer look at the details of the Symantec report revealed that of these additional detections, there were only 303 entries added or modified in the database. The 100,000+ figure was merely an indication of the individual pieces of signatures that were associated with the entries themselves. And of these entries, around 213 belonged in the Trojan, Worm, and Virus categories.

While I admit that 213 isn't as large as the figure I initially expected, it's still high enough to convince me of the importance of getting my computer protected before it gets infected. The infestation trend could change at any point, but the risks to your data, privacy, and personal information are much too high to gamble with.

What do you think?

Article by Hazel Chua

Gigadgetry: Cool Gadgets, Tech News, Quirky Devices

Tagged in: gear , malware , virus ,

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