The malware infection rate on fixed residential networks hit an all-time high during the first six months of the year, according to new research.

Eighteen percent of homes are now infected, the latest Alcatel-Lucent owned Kindsight Security Labs report revealed, up from an all-time low of nine percent in December 2013.

The “significant” rise was mostly due to moderate-threat-level adware infections, which grew from five percent in Q4 2013 to 13 percent in Q2 2014.

High-threat-level infections also increased, with seven percent of homes now subject to a variety of malware such as a bot, rootkit or banking Trojan.

The majority of the new threats are adware, which can redirect a victim’s browser to undesirable websites and create unwanted pop-up ads. 

The overall top threat is iBryte, an adware that installs toolbars and displays pop-up advertisements on the infected computer.

ZeroAccess, a peer-to-peer bot that is used in a large-scale ad-click fraud and can cost internet advertisers “millions of dollars each day”, is the top high level threat the report said. It is prevalent in the US, Europe and Asia.

Kevin McNamee, Security Architect and Director of Alcatel-Lucent’s Kindsight Security Labs, commented: “The best defense against infection is network-based malware detection. Network based anti-virus embedded on an operator’s network cannot be disabled by cybercriminals, is always on and up to date.”

The Kindsight report examined general trends and statistics for malware infections in devices connected through both mobile and fixed networks. Fifteen million smartphones were infected with malware in the first six months of the year.

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