While reports of new malware attacks happen every day, the number of new malware samples detected in the wild over the course of the last year actually decreased, according to a recent report.
A decline in the amount of malware strains may sound like an improvement, but the data—shared in the annual AV-Test Security Report published by the IT-Security Institute—isn’t all good news. The malware that does persist is more sophisticated than ever.
The AV-Test data counted 127.5 million malware samples in 2016, nearly 12 million fewer than the 144 million samples discovered over the course of 2015—14 percent decline in year-over-year detection.
Unfortunately, that drop off was coming down from a previous record-high figure for malware detection. Even with the 14 percent decline, 2016 was still the second-highest year on record for discovery of new malware samples. 2015 remains the worst year on record, when new samples nearly doubled from the year prior.