Posts Tagged Microsoft

Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report

Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report came out today detailing the changing threat landscape, among other analyses of malware, software vulnerability, privacy, and the like.  For those who may not want to read the entire 184 page report cover to cover, Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDnet, gives a summary of the top five points to take away from the report.

One interesting aspect from the report was the following graph depicting the malware infection rates by region.  Gizmodo notes that Myanmar and Ethiopia run a pretty tight ship, as noted by their favorable green coloring.  And while the U.S. may not be as bad as Russia or Brazil, Larry Dignan notes that Malware is still dominant in the U.S. and accounts for 67% of all infected computers.

Another interesting fact from the report is that Microsoft’s cyber security team concluded that spam is up to 97% of all emails.  This is 3% higher than Google’s reportings from Postini in their Spam Data and Trends: Q1 2009 report, which I referenced in my post from March 31st.

With all of the increasing fears around malware and viruses, it’s no wonder that fake security software is gaining ground.  Microsoft reports that simply by double clicking the icon, the rogue software is launched.  It then claims to have detected a bunch of non-existant infections on your computer, which you then must protect by paying for their services.  And voila, the rogue anti-virus software has infiltrated your system just like that – something my coworker, Lillian, discovered all too well just weeks ago when something similar happened on her computer – better luck next time Lil’.


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No Worms For This Early Bird

So what exactly is it you do here?  Peter Gibbons updated company software for the 2000 switch at Initech, to protect computers from the “millenium bug.”  Looks like there may be another virus on the rise, as part of a very nasty 2009 April Fools joke. 

A recent CNN article talks of a potential bug to hit computers tomorrow, April 1, known as Conficker.c (or Downadup).  Conficker.c is a worm, a malicious program thought to have already infected between five and ten million computers.  The virus is believed to delete all files on the computer by using master-controlled zombie PCs. 

Don DeBoit, director of threat research for Computer Associates (CA), states, “Those infections haven’t spawned many symptoms, but on April 1, a master computer is scheduled to gain control of these zombie machines.”

Researchers are hoping that Conficker.c is just as baseless as the “millenium bug”, but to safeguard your computer, make sure that all Micosoft updates issued in March have been installed. 

Ellen Messmer of Network World indicates, “There’s certainly skepticism in some quarters that Conficker.c will be looking more like a bad April Fool’s Day joke,” but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  All Windows updates can be obtained through their website

Maybe try a less-malicious joke this year, steal a colleague’s red stapler or tie their shoe laces together.


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