Of all computers scanned around the world, 31.98pc of them contained malware, PandaLab’s 2012 Annual Security Report reveals. PandaLabs researchers estimate at least 27m new strains of malware were created in 2012 alone.
Three Asian countries had the most computer infections, while European countries had the least, with Ireland and the UK among the top 5, indicates the report by the anti-malware laboratory of Panda Security.
Most of the new threats were down to Trojans, comprising three out of every four new malware strains created in 2012. The increased use of exploit kits, such as Black Hole, which are capable of exploiting multiple system vulnerabilities to infect computers automatically, may be one reason behind this growth.
Viruses and worms were next, accounting for 8pc and 6.44pc of all computer infections, respectively.
In terms of specific countries, China, South Korea and Taiwan lead the way with the most computer infections, at 54.89pc, 54.15pc and 42.14pc, respectively.
However, the proportion of infected computers worldwide decreased. In China, the number of infected computers dipped to 56pc in 2011 from 54.89pc in 2012, and in Taiwan, the decrease was greater, from 52pc in 2011 to 42.14pc in 2012.
The fewest computer infections were to be found in Sweden, with 20.25pc of infected PCs, followed by Switzerland (20.35pc), and Norway (21.03pc).
The UK and Ireland followed Norway, with about 22pc and 23pc respectively.