02.11.10

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Eye on Microsoft: Security a Lost Cause

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Anti-virus software is sometimes used on GNU/Linux in
order to protect Windows on the network

Summary: Anti-virus software not potent anymore; Windows botnets go to war

32% of computers with AV protection are infected

A SurfRight report shows statistics that give credibility to the lately popular opinion that one anti-virus solution is no longer enough to be sure your computer isn’t infected.

The effectiveness of most anti-virus solutions relies still on the quality of the virus signatures, and sometimes on the heuristics capabilities of the programs. Aided by its partners, SurfRight had the idea of bundling up 7 anti-virus engines that have at their disposal an equal amount of anti-virus databases. They called it Hitman Pro 3.

New Russian botnet tries to kill rival

Security researchers say that the relatively unknown Spy Eye toolkit added this functionality just a few days ago in a bid to displace its larger rival, known as Zeus.

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3 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    February 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Gravatar

    What is interesting is that they claim that even among Microsoft Window users who presumably do everything “correct”, including updating their anti-virus software (and presumably base system), 33% are infected. The statement that 50% of all Microsoft Windows users/systems are infected (including of course those not well updated), which I recall Roy was criticized for, does not seem at all an outlandish or even an unreasonable statement, it might even be an understatement.

    The solution is clearly not buying ever more redundant AV software to try and hold up the crumbling edifice of Microsoft Windows, but rather to move to something far less failure prone. Freedom offers this, as it makes it easier to maintain the transparency and collaborate effort between all parties needed to maintain modern complex secure systems. The proprietary software development and business model is fundamentally broken in regard to security, and this becomes clear as system complexity increases.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft found (and publicly reported) that 1 in 3 machines that it scanned was infected (2009). That’s Microsoft claiming 33% infection rate. A report from 2008 claimed 40% and several months ago 50% was claimed (by firms other than Microsoft). An old report from 2006 or 2007 (I read it too long ago to remember) claimed some massive infection rates in China, something like 90%, but I can’t recall for sure anymore (let alone find that reference, whereas I can find the others within minutes if you are interested).

  2. stonebit said,

    February 12, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Gravatar

    I love these stats posts. These are helping me to point out the dangers associated with Microsoft software and the likes of other closed-source solutions. Thanks for all the hard work.

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