Linux malware reaches an all-time high

In the past, cybercriminals have tended to shun Linux in favor of more widely used operating systems, but new data suggests that trend is starting to change.

Statistics from the Atlas VPN Team shows new Linux malware hit record numbers in first half of 2022 with nearly 1.7 million samples detected. This puts it in second place for the number of new samples, despite only having one percent of the OS market (not counting Android).

The cumulative number of new Linux malware samples in the first half of 2022 was 31 percent higher than the number of such samples in all of 2021. In fact, there were more new Linux malware samples in the first half of this year alone than in any other year since 2008.

Windows — with 29 percent market share — is still the most popular target overall. Linux was the only operating system to see an increase in new malware samples in the first half of this year, but Windows had the most significant number of new malware applications overall. A total of 41.4 million newly programmed Windows malware samples were identified in the first half of 2022.

Android has 44 percent of the OS market and recorded 716,201 newly developed malware samples in the first half of 2022. It also saw the largest year-over-year drop in malware samples of 58 percent.

Meanwhile, macOS – six percent share – was attacked by 4,922 new malware samples in the first half of 2022 – a decrease of 32 percent from 7,269 in the first half of 2021.

The report concludes: “All in all, while Linux is not as popular among computer users as other operating systems, it runs on the back-end systems of many networks, making attacks against Linux extremely lucrative.”

You can read more on the Atlas VPN Blog.

Photo credit: andrian.cz/Shutterstock

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