Microsoft: the number of compromised PCs in Australia surged this year

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Microsoft: the number of compromised PCs in Australia surged this year

The total amount of malware removed from Australian PCs grew by over 55 percent in the first half of 2008, Microsoft has reported.

Malware removed from Australian PCs grew by over 55 percent in the first half of 2008, 43 percent more than the global average, according to Microsoft’s latest threat report released today.

In the fifth volume of its Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, which is based on data derived from millions of computers worldwide, the report found that Australia faced a rapid surge of malware threats in the first half of 2008 compared to the second half of 2007.

Consistent with the worldwide trend, Zlob, a Trojan downloader, is the number one threat in Australia, increasing 54.1 percent during the first half of 2008.

Trojan downloaders, currently account for 23.3 percent of the total infected machines and increased 31 percent when compared with the previous report.

Malware other than spyware and adware, such as rogue security software, is the most common category of threat accounting for 25 percent of total infected machines an increase of around 40 percent.

“The research from the first half of 2008 shows that while Microsoft and others in the industry have made significant progress towards helping protect customers from malicious threats online, threats to businesses and consumers still continue to evolve,” said Stuart Strathdee, strategic security advisor, Microsoft Australia.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Australian PCs which were found to be cleaner than the worldwide average, with 6.9 computers per thousand cleaned by Microsoft’s security tools compared to the worldwide average of ten.

Australian Federal Police national manager of High Tech Crime Operations Neil Gaughan, said trend maps of this nature provide valuable intelligence to law enforcement agencies across the world.

“It is important that law enforcement work closely with industry, including Microsoft, in the global fight against cyber-crime,” Gaughan said.
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