"Our Q3 Threat report shows that cyber criminals are not only becoming more savvy, but attacks are becoming increasingly more severe," said Mike Gallagher, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Global Threat Intelligence for McAfee. "Cyber criminals are doing their homework, and are aware of what's popular, and what's insecure. They are attacking mobile devices and social networking sites, so education about user activity online, as well as incorporating the proper security technologies are of utmost importance."
As a security vendor, it could be argued that McAfee has a vested interest in alarming IT managers and the general public regarding computer security issues. It would be a sort of self-serving, and self-fulfilling prophecy to create a panic that drives sales of computer and network security tools.
I have never bought into the conspiracy theory that security vendors incite fear to boost sales. It would be a thinly-veiled con, and the short term gain would damage the reputation of the vendor and lead to irreparable long term harm.
McAfee has nothing to gain--at least not long term--from "crying wolf". The other way of looking at reports such as this is that McAfee--by virtue of being a major security vendor with an army of security researchers and customers scattered around the globe--is in a unique position to collect and study relevant data in order to provide expert analysis to identify trends and work more proactively to develop more effective security measures.