Windows, Android malware still greatly outnumber those on Apple's platforms

Malware illustration

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More than 34 million new malware samples have been discovered to date in 2022, with both Windows and Android remaining the most at-risk platforms compared to Apple systems like the Mac.

Malware authors have been creating more than 316,000 new malware threats daily in 2022, according to data from Atlas VPN. The team's information is based on analysis of data from AV-Test GmbH, an independent antivirus and security vendor.

January saw the largest jump in new malware developments, with 11.41 million new malware samples registered in the first month of 2022. February saw 8.93 million malware samples, while March saw 8.77 million.

By the end of the first quarter of 2022, newly discovered malware threats reached 29.11 million.

The data was last updated on April 20, 2022. By that count, at least 5.65 million new malware samples were discovered so far in the month of April.

As far as the breakdown between platforms, Windows has seen 25.48 million new malware samples in 2022. At least 536,000 never-before-seen Android malware samples have also been discovered.

Apple platforms appear less affected, with macOS seeing 2,000 new malware samples in 2022.

Despite the relative rarity of macOS malware, Apple still finds the number of threats on the platform "unacceptable" compared to iOS. Vulnerabilities and exploits are not unheard of on iOS, but are rarer still than on macOS.

The prevalence of malware on competing platforms like Android and Windows has been a core argument from Apple against opening up its platforms. Apple has repeatedly argued that antitrust legislation in the U.S. and European Union could do real harm to user privacy and security.