According to the McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2013 [PDF], twice as many new ransomware samples (more than 320,000) were found in Q2 2013 as in Q1 2013.

As a result, according to McAfee, the 2013 ransomware count is already higher than the total found in all previous periods combined.

"One reason for ransomware's growth is that it is a very efficient means for criminals to earn money because they use various anonymous payment services," the report [PDF] states. "This method of cash collection is superior to that used by fake AV products, for example, which must process credit card orders for the fake software. Another reason is that an underground ecosystem is already in place to help with services such as pay-per-install on computers that are infected by other malware, such as Citadel, and easy-to-use crime packs are available in the underground market."


The second quarter also saw a 35 percent increase in Android malware, a 16 percent increase in suspicious URLs, and a 50 percent increase in digitally-signed malware, to 1.2 million new samples.