Two-and-a-half million Internet of Things (IoT) devices were infected by Mirai botnet by the end of fourth quarter last year, a new report by cybersecurity company McAfee said on Tuesday.
Mirai is a malware that turns networked devices running on obsolete versions of Linux into remotely controlled bots, which can be used for largescale network attacks.
The McAfee Labs Threats Report April 2017 estimated that five IoT device IP addresses were infected by Mirai botnet every minute.
“The security industry faces critical challenges in our efforts to share threat intelligence between entities, among vendor solutions, and even within vendor portfolios,” said Vincent Weafer, vice-president, McAfee Labs, in a statement.
The overall count of new malware samples grew 24% in 2016 to 638 million, despite showing a drop of 17% in the fourth quarter.
McAfee also detected 176 new cyberthreats every minute, almost three every second in the fourth quarter of 2016. Further, the total mobile malware grew 99% in 2016.
“The number of total ransomware samples grew 88% in 2016, despite a 71% drop in the fourth quarter,” the company said.
The findings further showed that the number of new Mac OS malware samples grew 245% in the fourth quarter due to adware bundling, though the number is still small compared to Windows threats. Also, overall Mac OS malware grew 744% in 2016.