McAfee: New computer virus threats reach all-time high

That’s a lotta malware!  Interesting that the Macs are now in the hackers’ crosshairs; no mention if those will target the FreeBSD/Linux/UNIX world at large, or if it is specifically Mac-oriented.

New data released by security vendor McAfee Inc. shows that the amount of malware in the wild has never been higher, and while a large portion of it is being thwarted successfully, Mac users may face an increased risk.

In its McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2010, McAfee Inc. notes that the first half of 2010 has been McAfee’s most active six-month period for malware protection updates, and in this past quarter alone, malware in the wild reached its highest levels ever, with 10 million new pieces of malware discovered, up from 1 million in Q1.

Attackers’ desire for money and data are the two biggest reasons for this increase, according to Dave Marcus, security research and communications manager at Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee.

“Even though there’s more malware than ever before, we’re actually identifying more malware than ever before, so it’s a way of saying that we’re keeping up with the bad guys,” Marcus said.

Portable storage devices were the most popular targets for malware and related new computer virus threats. Everything from traditional storage keys to digital picture frames and cameras, Marcus said, is now being affected by malware.

The report also offered a warning for Mac users. Until now, Mac users have had little malware to deal with. But a new Trojan mentioned in the report specifically targeting Macs, HellRTS, may be a harbinger of what’s to come.

via McAfee: New computer virus threats reach all-time high.

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