Go Back   Tech Support Forum > Security Center > Computer Security News

User Tag List

Windows 7 malware infection rate soars in 2012

This is a discussion on Windows 7 malware infection rate soars in 2012 within the Computer Security News forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Windows 7's malware infection rate climbed by as much as 182% this year, Microsoft said today. But even with that


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
Security Manager
Analyst
Rangemaster, TSF Academy
 
Glaswegian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 39,536
OS: Windows 10 Pro

My System


Windows 7's malware infection rate climbed by as much as 182% this year, Microsoft said today.

But even with that dramatic increase, Windows 7 remained two to three times less likely to fall to hacker attack than the aged Windows XP.

Data from Microsoft's newest twice-yearly security report showed that in the second quarter of 2012, Windows 7 was between 33% and 182% more likely to be infected by malware than in the second quarter of 2011.

The infection rate for Windows RTM, or "release to manufacturing," the original version launched in Oct. 2009, was 33% higher this year for the 32-bit edition (x86), 59% higher for the 64-bit (x64) OS.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) -- the upgrade that shipped in Feb. 2011 -- saw even larger infection increases: 172% for x86, 182% for x64.

Microsoft blamed several factors for the boost in successful malware attacks, including less savvy users.

"This may be caused in part by increasing acceptance and usage of the newest consumer version of Windows," said Microsoft in its latest Security Intelligence Report. "Early adopters are often technology enthusiasts who have a higher level of technical expertise than the mainstream computing population. As the Windows 7 install base has grown, new users are likely to possess a lower degree of security awareness than the early adopters and be less aware of safe online practices."

But other elements came into play, argued Tim Rains, director of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group.

"There are several factors at play here. In XP, for example, we've seen infection rates go up because of particular pieces of malware that are more effective on that platform," said Rains in an interview. "[And] in different places in the world, [users'] ability to keep Windows up to date varies greatly."

For the first time, Microsoft ranked the threats facing each version of Windows, bolstering Rains' assertion that some malware families are more successful against, or at least more often aimed at, specific Windows builds, and thus affect the infection rates.

But security researchers were more likely to pin the blame on Windows 7's popularity.

"Windows 7 has really been the first platform adopted by both enterprises and consumers, and that kind of adoption hasn't happened in quite some time for Microsoft," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security. "Given the market movements, its likely that the attackers follow."

And Windows 7 is a more popular operating system this year: From June 2011 to June 2012, Windows 7's usage share grew 45%, according to statistics from metric firm Net Applications.

Microsoft collects infection data from several sources, including the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT), a free utility it distributes to all Windows users each month that detects, then deletes selected malware. It then normalizes the data by comparing an equal number of computers for each edition of Windows.

The measurements are expressed as X per thousand: Windows XP SP3's infection rate, for instance, was 9.5 in the second quarter, or 9.5 XP SP3 machines out of every 1,000.

The x86 editions of Windows 7 RTM and SP1 came with higher infection rates than the x64 versions, and Windows 7 SP1 was less likely to be infected than RTM. Windows 7 RTM x86 had the highest rate, 5.3, while Windows 7 SP1 x64 had the lowest, just 3.1.

But even with that low rate, Windows 7 SP1 x64 had the dubious distinction of sporting the largest year-to-year increase because in the second quarter of 2011, its infection rate was an even lower 1.1.

Microsoft's numbers back up the belief that Windows 7 is a more secure OS than the still-present-in-large-numbers XP, and makes a good case for users of the latter to migrate to the former, a transition Microsoft and industry analysts have long supported.

If history is any guide, Windows 7's infection rate will continue to climb as its market share does the same, and won't begin to decline until a successor replaces it on a large number of PCs.

"There is probably no single technology feature set that can explain infection rates in either incline or decline," said Storms. "It has more to do with what the attackers want to attack. And as we have seen, attackers generally get what they want."

The 146-page Security Intelligence Report Volume 13 can be downloaded from Microsoft's website.


Windows 7 malware infection rate soars in 2012 - Computerworld
Glaswegian is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Windows 8 BSOD on Startup
I have being getting BSOD restarts for a while now. Frustratingly when the system restarts it runs perfectly and trouble free. It only seems to occur when the system boots from a cold start. This means that it is difficult to make hardware changes to test the system. The system ran perfectly for...
Ger.B BSOD, App Crashes And Hangs 5 09-20-2012 01:47 PM
Virus blocking internet access.
After removing XP Antispyware 2012,I can no longer connect to the internet.It just says "acquiring network address". When I do ipconfig it says "RPC server is unavailable".There's nothing wrong with the internet connection itself.Just something on my computer preventing it from connecting. ....
honeybe Resolved HJT Threads 28 01-10-2012 02:26 AM
HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!
Hi, For 2 weeks now, I have a problem with my laptop. Finally I just found you via https://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f100/malware-removal-help-438072.html] and now I began hoping (please forgive my English!!). Could you please please help me too?? I have this laptop and more or...
Vladia Virus/Trojan/Spyware Help 1 01-08-2012 08:16 AM
Windows XP Fix
I have got this intruder on my computer. I cannot access the internet or anything else. I was going to do a system restore, but I cannot get to it. I do have another computer with Vista, but I need the XP computer for work. Please help!
mishamisha Virus/Trojan/Spyware Help 26 07-14-2011 06:36 PM
Can someone help me see what's up?
I'm a real computer noob I don't know exactly what's going on but ill try to describe it, mostly I'm concerned about a keylogger though. The other problems are every now and then on Google I'll click a link and I'll get sent to some random website, sometimes outta nowhere a new tab will open up to...
soboman Virus/Trojan/Spyware Help 13 05-13-2011 02:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is on
Smilies are on
[IMG] code is on
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Post a Question


» Site Navigation
 > FAQ
  > 10.0.0.2
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2001 - 2018, Tech Support Forum

Windows 10 - Windows 7 - Windows XP - Windows Vista - Trojan Removal - Spyware Removal - Virus Removal - Networking - Security - Top Web Hosts