Naturally, the malware market is still growing in volume as more and more people decide that there’s money to be had in the market. However, malware isn’t just growing in volume, it’s growing in sophistication, too.

McAfee’s fourth quarter report from last year that gauges threats has indicated that more and more organizations, large and small, are being targeted by clever and sneaky cyberattacks. Trojans attacks alone rose by a whopping 72%, but that’s not all: some of these Trojans were custom deals that seemed to be targeting only the specific company they attacked. There were still a number of “standard” Trojan reports as well, but Trojans like the Citadel – a Trojan specifically meant to target financial service companies – were much more common.

“We are seeing attacks shifting into a variety of new areas, from factories, to corporations, to government agencies, to the infrastructure that connects them together,” McAfee’s senior vice president of McAfee Labs, Vincent Weafer, said. “This represents a new chapter in cybersecurity in that threat-development, driven by the lure of financial industry profits, has created a growing underground market for these cybercrime weapons, as well as creative new approaches to thwarting security measures common across industries.”

Mobile malware, especially that which is designed to attack Android devices, is also up significantly. The amount of malware found on mobile platforms is 44 times larger than it was at the same time during last year.

Even though the number of botnet attacks has declined, the number of suspicious URLs has risen nearly 80% over the course of twelve months, indicating that those who use botnets to snag information may be seeking other areas to exploit.

McAfee says the best defense is education and a good anti-virus with constant, dependable updates.

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