Over 95% of all new malware threats discovered in 2022 are aimed at Windows

Ruth C. | November 30, 2022

Windows is the most popular operating system among desktop and laptop users. It occupies around 30% of the OS market share worldwide. This may be one of the reasons why it is also the most targeted by malware.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, 59.58 million new Windows malware samples were detected in the first three quarters of 2022. They make up a whopping 95.6% of all new malware discovered in that period.

The analysis is based on the data by AV-TEST GmbH, an independent supplier of services in IT Security and Antivirus Research. The study includes new malware samples detected in 2021 and the first three quarters of 2022.

Linux malware takes the second spot on the list with 1.76 million new malware samples — 2.8% of the total new malware threats in Q1 through Q3 of 2022. 

Following Linux is Android malware. The first three quarters of 2022 saw 938,379 newly found Android malware threats. They constitute 1.5% of the new malware in Q1 through Q3 of 2022. 

Finally, 8,329 never before seen malware threats aimed at macOS were detected in the same period.

Despite various anti-malware measures that exist today, cybercriminals continuously come up with new malware threats. A total of 62.29 million new malware samples were detected in the first three quarters of 2022 across all operating systems. It comes to almost 228,164 malware threats daily. 

However, compared to the same period last year, new malware has actually decreased by 34%.

If we look at new malware development quarter by quarter, the first quarter of this year saw the most significant amount of new malware samples — 22.35 million. However, new malware samples dropped by 4% in the second quarter of this year to 21.49 million. They plummeted again in the third quarter — only this time by 14% to 18.45 million. 

It seems that the decrease in new malware continues into the fourth quarter of the year, with 7.62 million new threats found in October and November — nearly 60% less than at the same time last year.

Even though there is a clear downward trend in new malware samples, the number of threats still remains exceptionally high. In 2021 alone, more than 100 million Windows malware was developed.

How to protect against malware threats

Malware threats are ever-evolving, and there are multiple ways malware can get into your device. We've prepared a short do’s and don’ts checklist with tips to help you avoid malware attacks. 


  • Open unknown links or attachments that might download malware into your device;
  • Download apps from third-party sources and unofficial websites, as they might already be infected with malware; 
  • Leave your devices unattended or lend them out, as attackers can install malware by physically interacting with your device, for instance, with an infected USB drive.


  • Use reputable anti-virus software to protect your devices;
  • Update your software as soon as possible to patch any vulnerabilities that might be left;
  • Enable the Shield feature when using Atlas VPN, as it helps to block malicious websites and pop-ups from loading.

Have a safe online journey!

Ruth C.

Ruth C.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Interested in cybercrime, online security, and privacy-related topics.



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