Linux malware reaches an all time high

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

Statistics from the Atlas VPN team show new Linux malware reached record numbers in the first half of 2022, with nearly 1.7 million samples being discovered. This puts it in second spot for the number of new samples even though it has only one percent of the OS market (not counting Android).

The cumulative number of new Linux malware samples in H1 2022 was 31 percent higher than the number of such samples in the whole of 2021. In fact, the first half of this year alone saw more new Linux malware samples than any other year since 2008.

Windows -- with 29 percent of the market -- is still the most popular target overall. Linux was the only operating system that saw growth in new malware samples in the first half of this year, but Windows had the most significant number of new malware applications overall. In total, 41.4 million newly-programmed Windows malware samples were identified in H1 2022.

Android has 44 percent of the OS market and saw 716,201 newly developed malware samples in H1 2022. It also experienced the biggest drop in malware samples compared to last year of 58 percent.

Meanwhile macOS -- six percent share -- was targeted by 4,922 new malware samples in the first half of 2022 -- a 32 percent decline from 7,269 in H1 2021.

The report concludes, "All in all, while Linux is not as popular among computer users as other operating systems, it runs the back-end systems of many networks, making attacks on Linux highly lucrative. As Linux adoption rises, so will attacks against it."

You can read more on the Atlas VPN blog.

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