How Many Spyware and Malware Attacks Are There in 2023?

Muninder Adavelli
Muninder Adavelli

Updated · May 28, 2023

Muninder Adavelli

The Chief Content Strategist | Joined October 2021

Munni is also an ardent student of human-computer interfaces and user experience design. He makes th... | See full bio


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Keeping an Eye Out for Malware: A Run Through of the Latest Spyware and Malware Statistics

Technology in today’s world is evolving rapidly. This includes systems, software, hardware, and other information beneficial for computer use. 

However, these evolutions also gave rise to spyware and different types of malware, making it a dangerous yet common occurrence. It can compromise online privacy, cause data breaches, slow computer hardware, install keyloggers, cyberattacks, and ransomware

Users of both mobiles and computers should be aware of how these affect day-to-day operations - whether for work or personal use.

Here are the latest spyware and malware statistics to stay informed of these latest advancements and security practices. 

Editor’s Choice

  • There have been 33 publicly disclosed ransomware attacks in January 2023.
  • 54% of all malware infections were found on Windows Operating System.
  • Microsoft had over 660 dangerous security gaps, and 357 were attributed to Windows 10.
  • Between November 2020 and October 2021, the professional sector ranked first among the global industry most targeted by malware attacks
  • Analysts report that 8% of small US businesses experienced consistent cyber attacks weekly throughout 2019.
  • The average number of new websites compromised by linking to malware pages or containing codes hackers can abuse is around 2,500 every week. 
  • In 2021, AdWare accounted for 42.42% of new mobile malware worldwide. Meanwhile, RiskTool ranked second with a 35.27 percent share of all new threats that year. 
  • 84 incidents impacted 1,681 schools, colleges, and universities.

How Many Spyware and Malware Attacks Are There in 2023?

Computer viruses skyrocket yearly, and the severity and frequency of these attacks are notable. In January, there were already 33 publicly disclosed ransomware attacks. The education sector topped the victim list with 11 attacks, a third of which happened in April. There are also 17 million new malware registered each month.

To know more about these, read below other spyware and malware statistics and their impact to shed light on how vulnerable we are to them in 2023.

Spyware and Malware Statistics By Operating System

Operating Systems or OS help a computer's hardware and applications to run. It also manages and controls a computer's resources. Some OS varies on computer or brand - popular types of OS are Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Due to this, OS security is more critical than ever.

However, web browsers account for 15.84% of all malware, but percentages dropped to 11.09% in 2020. Android made up 3.24% in the same year.

Some specific spyware and malware statistics by the operating system are

1. MacOS had minor malware infections, with only 6.2% in 2022. 

(Apple Insider, Elastic Security Lab)

Elastic Security Labs published a cybersecurity report that examined popular operating systems and the threats they have received. The results report that MacKeeper was the biggest threat to Mac users as an attack vector for malware.

Despite this, MacOS is at the bottom of the list, beating Linux with the least security threats. 54% of all malware infections were found on Windows, 39.4% on Linux, and macOS only 6.2% of infections.

2. Windows Computers Were Targets of 83% of All Malware Attacks in Q1 2020. 


Windows is considered the least secure compared to other operating systems, and cybercriminals take advantage of its highly vulnerable system. Around 51% of users worldwide operate on Windows OS. According to CVE, Microsoft had 660 security gaps - 357 of these were attributed to Windows 10. 

In addition, backdoors were also found in the OS. Windows users also have to deal with several types of malware found in the OS - 64.31% are trojans, 15.52% are viruses, and 7.79% are worms and other malware. 

3. Linux Malware Rates Rise increased by 50%.


In 2022, Linux malware threats increased - accounting for 1.9 million threats. New malware threats also dropped by 39% or 73.7 million in 2022. Most of these (854,690 threats) were seen in the 1st quarter of 2022. However, it fell by 3% in the second quarter to 833,065. 

Linux detection numbers plummeted in the third quarter of last year by 91% or 75,841. But they picked up again in the fourth quarter of 2022, growing by 117% or 164,697.

Spyware and Malware Target Statistics

Malware threats target servers and resources with one or more vulnerabilities. As a result, the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of programs are compromised. These can happen to anyone and anywhere.

Who are the main targets of malicious software? Find out below

4. Global industry sectors are most targeted, with 1,234 malware incidents.


Global industry and professional sectors ranked 1st among the most targeted by malware between November 2020 to October 2021. During that period, 1,234 malware incidents occurred. 775 were in the information sector, followed by 621 attacks in the manufacturing industry.

5. Enterprises are the main target for ransomware, with around 21.9% of attacks. 


Professional services, enterprises, and corporations are the most common target for ransomware. They were followed by public sector organizations at 14.4%, healthcare organizations at 10%, and software services at 9.4%. Financial institutions ranked low in ransomware attacks, dropping from 8.9% to 6.4% within the 3 months of 2023.

6. Almost 10% of all US businesses experienced a cyberattack weekly in 2019. 


8% of small businesses in the US experienced cyberattacks weekly throughout 2019. 73% of these small businesses are reportedly unprepared to deal with cyberattacks. In comparison, 28% do not have specialized antivirus software to protect their servers and networks.

7. 7% of websites tested for malware were infected.

(Google and Dataprot)

Since 2007, websites containing malware have been consistently above 100,000, but this number declined rapidly. However, 7% of websites are still infected, and COVID-19 also brought a significant jump in malware sites.

The average number of new websites compromised by linking to malware pages or containing codes hackers can abuse is around 2,500 every week. However, sites with malware represent just 1.6% of this number, or approximately 50 per week.

Mobile Spyware and Malware Statistics

Mobile malware targets mobile gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. This malware exploits mobile OS and technology. Despite its similar purpose, mobile malware differs from pc malware as it specializes in smartphone features and vulnerabilities.

Here are some of the Mobile Spyware and Malware Statistics:

8. China has the most mobile malware threats at 17.70%.


This is followed by Syria at 15.61%, Iran at 14.53%, Yemen at 14.39, and Iraq at 8.44. Mobile malware within these countries varies results compared to 2021 reports, where Iran had the highest malware threat, with 24% of mobile users infected.

9. The largest distribution of mobile malware worldwide in 2021 totals 86.69%.


AdWare accounted for 42.42 percent of new mobile malware worldwide. Meanwhile, RiskTool ranked second with a 35.27% share of all new threats. Trojan attacks constituted approximately 9% of all new mobile malware detected online.

10. There are 438 thousand malicious installation packages on mobile devices worldwide.


Statista’s survey of mobile malware from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2022 saw both an increase and a decrease in malware packages found. 

These can be attributed to the utilization of proper cybersecurity practices and proper education about malware and spyware detection.

Impact of Spyware and Malware Statistics

The effects of spyware and malware are broad and include businesses and the government. Damages caused by malware threats infect personal computers and corporate networks, varying from outgoing traffic to complete loss of network or data.

To understand these, below are some statistics on the impacts of spyware and malware throughout different industries:

11. 113 Federal, state, and municipal governments were attacked by ransomware.


These include counties, states, federal agencies, and municipal governments. The number has stayed the same since 2019. Due to this, the government still needs security improvements and remains as vulnerable as other networks.

12. 80 Healthcare Facilities in the United States were affected.

(Health IT Security)

Ransomware attacks targeted 560 healthcare provider facilities. This malware variant hit 2,354 US individuals. There are also 80 malware attacks within the healthcare sector in the past year alone. 

The most significant attack was on Universal Health Services, which operates 400 hospitals and care facilities in the US.

13. 84 incidents of malware and spyware impacted 1,681 schools, colleges, and universities.


Of 84 incidents, 26 are from colleges and universities, while 58 are from school districts. The attacks caused the sector to cancel both in-class and virtual classes, disrupting learning. 

UCSF also paid a $1.4 million ransom, the University of Utah paid just under $500,000, and Sheldon Independent School District paid just over $200,000.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these statistics on spyware and malware prove that the numbers are indeed concerning, and it is no secret that an increasing number of individuals and enterprises are becoming victims of these malware attacks.

Practicing proactive measures over your devices and computers is advised to avoid falling prey to malicious software and potential spyware apps and networks.

The best way to prevent these is to install credible antivirus software, avoid visiting suspicious links, secure your web browsers or pc, ignore suspicious email attachments, and regularly back up your important data


What percentage of computers are infected with malware?

Almost 10% of computers connected to the internet encounter malware. Alternatively, 560,000 new malware pieces are detected daily, accounting for 1 billion malware programs. Trojan viruses also account for 58% of this computer malware.

What types of devices does malware target?

Malware can infect personal computers, smartphones, tablets, servers, and equipment. It can also affect MacOS, iOS, and Windows.

Concerning malware, how many unique threats are there per day?

AV-TEST institute has registered over 450,000 malicious programs and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) daily.


Muninder Adavelli

Muninder Adavelli

Munni is also an ardent student of human-computer interfaces and user experience design. He makes the vital connections between technology and the end user. He always finds the ultimate way to tell the story of software, to highlight its strengths and weaknesses in an accessible way. He often contemplates the dynamic relationship between humanity and technology over a pint of lager, while enjoying some classy classical rock.

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