Levels of mobile malware samples continue to rise at an alarming rate, security firm McAfee has warned, although UK spam levels have shown signs of dropping.
McAfee reported that over the final quarter of 2012, the levels of new mobile malware samples and targeted attacks had increased in number.
Meanwhile, spam volumes saw an early spike in the quarter then held steady to close out the year. According to McAfee, the spam levels on the quarter were at their lowest levels in over a year.
The UK in particular saw a sharp drop in spam levels between October and December, while the US recorded slower but still steady decline.
Researchers estimate that spam sites accounted for just one percent of new cybercrime sites on the quarter, while phishing sites accounted for three percent.
The slowing of spam was countered with the continued growth in malware and targeted attacks. McAfee said that mobile malware such as premium number diallers is continuing to soar, as are traditional PC attacks and advanced persistent threats.
Additionally, the company said that 2012 wrapped up what was a record stretch for reported enterprise data breaches.
"This quarter was relatively quiet in the number of publicly reported data breaches, with just 47. But that figure is misleading," the researchers explained.
"The total number of data breaches from the beginning of the year was more than 300, significantly higher than in previous years."
Other areas, however, did show signs of encouragement for the security community. McAfee said that the number of new rootkits saw a decline on the quarter, though deep-seeded attacks such as boot record infections, saw a jump in popularity. Additionally, attacks on OS X systems showed signs of slowing down.
"New malware that attacks the Mac declined for the second straight quarter," McAfee said.
"In spite of the small numbers, it's important that Mac users not think their systems are invulnerable to threats."
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