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Malware Infections Drop Dramatically in First Half of 2016

Malware Infections Drop Dramatically in First Half of 2016

Despite that, experts warn that the danger of infections – particularly Ransomware – is still prevalent

Tampa, St. Louis, and Orlando top the list of the “most infected” cities for the first half of 2016

Full report info and quotes posted here:

Malware infections in the United State s have dropped 47.3% in the first six months of 2016, according to data released today by Enigma Software Group. But Enigma warns that computer users should not be lulled into complacency.

The experts at Enigma analyzed infection reports generated by all of the computers in the U.S. that have Enigma’s SpyHunter installed and running on them. Looking at more than 30 million infections in the last 18 months, Enigma found that the average number of monthly infections in the first six months of 2016 was 47.3% lower than the average number of monthly infections from all of 2015. In fact, June 2016 had the lowest number of overall infections of any month dating back to April 2013.

“We believe there are a number of factors that are causing a drop in overall infections detected by SpyHunter,” said Enigma spokesperson Ryan Gerding. “First, people are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to do a growing number of internet tasks. PC’s are still incredibly important, b ut as more work is done on mobile devices, that reduces time spent on PCs, which reduces infections. Second, we believe consumers have become more aware of some of the common mistakes that lead to the more common infections: adware, potentially unwanted programs, and toolbars. Each of these types of infections are commonly bundled into other software when computer users download programs online. We think a growing number of people have become more aware of this practice and are more wary of accidentally installing the unwanted software. Third, we believe current web browsers and anti-malware software have become much more effective at blocking potential malware before it even gets onto computers.”

Despite the good news surrounding the drop in overall infections, there is still some disconcerting news about the popularity of ransomware. Ransomware is malicious software that will encrypt and lock up valuable files on a person’s computer—things like photos and videos and Word do cuments—and holds them hostage until a ransom is paid. Ransomware infections have gotten a lot of attention in recent months as some major businesses have been hit, some of which were forced to pay the ransom to get their valuable data back.

Enigma’s analysis of 2016 ransomware infections found that the raw number of monthly ransomware infections jumped 7.92% over 2015. When you consider that overall infections dropped 47.3%, the fact that ransomware infections actually rose is disturbing.

“Ransomware infections make up a tiny fraction of all infections,” Gerding said. “Our concern is that, while small, their overall share of the infection pie is growing. In fact, if you looked at the percentage of infections made up by ransomware in 2016, you would see a 119% spike from 2015. To us, this means malware makers may be shifting their attention to less common, but much more costly infections like ransomware.”

Even reports of a tapering of ransomware infections in the last couple of months may only be a temporary reprieve. While it’s true that the raw number of infections in May and June did drop from April’s high, Enigma believes this may be in part because of a string of arrests of ransomware makers in Russia earlier this spring. A brief hiccup in ransomware distribution worldwide is likely to be just that…brief.

Despite the drop in overall infections, there still are millions of computers nationwide getting infections every day.

Enigma looked at the total number of infections in the 150 largest cities in the U.S. That data showed that Tampa, St. Louis, and Orlando were the most malware infected cities in the U.S., with infection rates that were 800% higher than the national average. Below is a list of the most infected cities, along with how much higher their infection rate was compared to the national average.


Most infected cities of 2016 so far:

1. Tampa, 916% higher than the national averag e
2. St. Louis 816% higher than the national average
3. Orlando 799% higher than the national average
4. Denver 657% higher than the national average
5. Atlanta 582% higher than the national average
6. Cincinnati 524% higher than the national average
7. Newark, 523% higher
8. Salt Lake City, 460% higher
9. Madison, 445% higher
10. Washington, DC 395%
11. Cleveland 376%
12. Little Rock 325%
13. Minneapolis 234%
14. Raleigh 231%
15. Baton Rouge 223%
16. Irvine, CA 219%
17. Buffalo 210%
18. Miami 208%
19. Des Moines 190%
20. Las Vegas 187%
21. Pittsburgh 176%
22. Richmond 165%
23. Boise 159%
24. Greensboro, NC 146%
25. Seattle 142%
26. Boston 134%
27. Worcester 131%
28. Dallas 121%
29. Columbus 120%
30. Phoenix 96%
31. Spokane 92%
32. Milwaukee 91%
33. Ft. Lauderdale 89%
34. Baltimore 85%
35. Norfolk 84%
36. Providence, RI 83%
37. Overland Park, KS 78%
38. Austin, 72%
39. Honolulu 70%
40. Springfield, MO 70%
41. Sacramento 67%
42. Birmingham, 67%
43. San Jose, CA 52%
44. Tallahassee 51%
45. Reno, NV 48%
46. Sioux Falls, SD 47%
47. Plano, TX 45%
48. Knoxville, TN 42%
49. Philadelphia 36%
50. Indianapolis 35%
51. Omaha 34%
52. Tulsa 28%
53. Charlotte 28%
54. Lincoln 28%
55. Los Angeles 21%
56. Riverside, CA 19%
57. Albuquerque 16%
58. Wichita 16%
59. Corpus Christi 14%
60. San Diego 14%
61. Tucson 11%
62. Chattanooga 10%
63. Lexington, KY 5%
64. San Antonio 5%

tracy collins

I am a freelance writer blogger social media marketer and content marketer with twelve years of experience in writing and blogging.

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