There was a time when signature based antivirus was good enough to protect a PC. Those days are long gone, as increasing amounts of research point to the rise of unique and advanced persistent threats (APT) that are not detectable with signature based systems. Security vendor Sourcefire (NASDAQ:FIRE) is the latest to say they are seeing a rise in unique forms of malware. Cisco announced earlier this month that it has seen a doubling in unique malware over of the last four months as has Symantec.
Sourcefire’s latest stats come from its Immunet 3.0 antivirus solution that leverages the open source Clam antivirus engine as well as cloud powered detection engines.
According to data collected from Immunet installations for the month of July , 72 percent of the detected threats were isolated cases. That is, they were unique forms of malware not seen before. Out of the Sourcefire Immunet user base, 16 percent experienced at least one form of malware infection. Additionally, among those infected users, 70 percent had one or more infections on their system.
The findings don’t come as a surprise to Sourcefire.
“With Immunet we set out with the expectation that individual threats would become so numerous that actually pushing a database down to an end-user would become onerous,” Adam O’Donnell, chief architect in the Sourcefire Cloud Technology Group told InternetNews.com.