A new report says that cybercriminals are releasing hundreds of thousands of new malware strains every day, with a large percentage targeting Windows users exclusively.
Researchers from Atlas VPN using statistics published by AV-TEST GmbH concluded that in the first three quarters of 2022, a total of 62.29 million new malware samples, or approximately 228,164 new variants, were discovered each day.
Of this number, 59.58 million new malware samples were designed to target the Windows operating system, or 95.6%. Linux malware took second place (1.76 million samples / 2.8%), while Android rounded out the top three.
The most popular operating system
According to Atlas VPN, the mobile operating system saw 938,379 new threats between Q1 and Q2 2022, or 1.5% — and for macOS, researchers found 8,329 never-before-seen variants.
Researchers claim that the main reason cybercriminals focus on Windows is its popularity. Microsoft’s operating system is the most popular desktop product, with nearly 30% of the global market share. According to Statcounter’s global statistics, Android has 43.47% of the market share, iOS 17.25%, and Linux 1.08%.
Despite the shocking stats, the outlook is not as bleak as it might seem. Researchers say that compared to the same period last year, the number of new malware strains has decreased significantly – by more than a third (34%).
Of all the various variants, ransomware remains the most destructive, and therefore the most common. Other popular variants include hackers (able to steal stored passwords, credit card information, keystrokes and screenshots), cryptocurrency miners (also known as cryptojackers) and bots (using compromised endpoints to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, which can be sold on It is a service).