Over 100 Million Pieces of Malware Were Made for Windows Users in 2021

Over 100 million pieces of malware have been produced for Windows devices this year, according to a new analysis by security software company Atlas VPN. 

The report also shows that new malware for devices using Windows operating systems has increased exponentially since 2012, with millions of novel threats appearing in the wild every year. 

Findings like these are a grim reminder that the problem of malware is only going to get worse, which puts even more onus on individuals and businesses alike to deploy antivirus software on internet-connected devices. 

Windows Malware: An Epidemic of Epic Proportions

Atlas VPN has identified 107.28 million new threats designed for Windows devices, which is 16.53 million more than recorded in 2020. That works out at roughly 328,000 every single day, or 227 a minute. 

The data used in Atlas VPN’s analysis was compiled by independent research institute AV-TEST GmBH, which also rates and reviews antivirus software. One of the most worrying statistics to be borne out of the data is that, on average, the amount of new malicious software for Windows OS by 9.5 million since 2012, which equates to a 23% YoY increase: 

(Image courtesy of Atlas VPN)

In an attempt to explain the increase, Atlas VPN highlights the fact that hackers can buy ransomware and malware now, meaning it requires a lot less programming knowledge to launch a cyber attack. At the other end of the market, it’s also now a lot cheaper to hire a hacker to conduct one for you.

“A malicious person with a relatively small budget can cause severe issues to an organization’s security” – Atlas VPN.

Why do Windows Devices Get More Viruses than Mac and Linux?

There’s Safety in Obscurity, not Numbers

Windows is still the most popular operating system used on Desktop PCs by quite some way, and there are also thousands of Windows phones still in use. This makes it the biggest attack surface, so it’s largely a question of supply and demand – and there are an awful lot of Windows devices out there. 

So, if you’re a hacker and you want to infect as many devices as possible with a virus or malware, you’ll have a much better chance of successfully doing so if you’re coding one for the…