Over 100 million Windows consumer and business devices across the world were infected with malware last year, new analysis has found.

While examining the recent Malwarebytes “State of Malware” report, Atlas VPN noted that whilst the number of infected Windows machines seems high, this landmark figure was actually 12% drop when compared to 2019. 

The decline in Windows malware infections might signify that cybercriminals have found other more effective methods to exploit victims online, noted Atlas VPN COO Rachel Welch, urging caution.

While it isnt a surprise that a majority of the malware resided inside consumer devices, around 15% of cases, equivalent over 16 million devices, were recorded on devices used by businesses. 

Again, while alarming, the number of business Windows devices infected in 2020 registered almost a 10% drop when compared to 2019, possibly due to more stringent protocols for business devices being implemented as remote working becomes the norm.

(Image credit: Atlas VPN)

The Malwarebytes survey pointed to HackTool as the most popular piece of malware. It registered a massive spike and was found in over 18 million devices in 2020, up from 7.4 million in 2019.

The most common type of malware however was adware, which accounted for 32% or 35.5 million Windows malware cases in 2020. Next in line were trojans that were found in 27% or 29.9 million devices.