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Yet Another All Time High

Or low. You decide. Mister Bill does it again.



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Microsoft Windows malware has hit another all time high. Estimates by Windows security corporations suggest there was five times the malware in circulation during 2007 compared to a year earlier.

Panda Security claim they've seen more than 3,000 new variants per day.

It's become a race between the 'antivirus' companies who attempt to identify malware through 'signatures' and the malware authors who continually change the signatures.

5.5 Million

AV Test claim they saw 5.49 million malware variants in 2007 as compared to a measly 972,606 in 2006; Panda say the number of variants in 2007 was up 1000% compared to 2006. In a statement they call the situation 'a malware epidemic'.

Targets

According to the BBC 'most of the malicious programs are aimed at Microsoft's Windows'.

Picking Up

Things picked up in early 2007, says Gerhard Eschelbeck of Webroot who goes on to claim his company sometimes see one thousand or more samples in a single day. And there are severe limitations on what can be done.

'Antivirus relies on customers to submit samples but with spyware you typically do not get samples because your customers do not know they are infected.'

New Techniques

Security firms are now turning to new techniques to combat malware such as heuristics or behaviour blockers.

Obviously things still aren't good and the bad guys are still winning.

Keeps On Giving

Clearly Microsoft Windows is the gift that keeps on giving. Unwitting Windows users upgrade in vain to get away from the dangers of today all the while the 'cottage industries' - the Landed Gentry of Security™ - continue to rake in the big bucks.

All the while people online - Windows users or no - continue to drown in spam, pay exorbitant connection fees, and so forth.

But the Tip

Reviewing impressive graphs doesn't tell the story. To see the story one must read between the gray and red lines.

  • Malware started going ballistic 2005. Windows XP SP2 was released 6 August the year before.
  • The situation is so critical today Internet providers are blocking each other to keep the bad stuff away.
  • Some Internet providers are so desperate they're using the blocking lists illegally to filter outgoing traffic.
  • Windows users need permanent antivirus subscriptions as it's all about signatures and those change daily.
  • Some Internet providers are reading all outgoing mail looking for signs of malware and doing a bad job of it.
  • Further Internet providers are blocking all outgoing mail containing the strings 'http' or 'www' in the message.
  • Further Internet providers are seriously trying to keep up to date lists of spam URLs found in spam messages.
  • And it all this happens as Microsoft and the Landed Gentry of Security™ insist things are getting only better.
  • Things are getting so bad people are starting to revert to terrestrial mail to communicate with one another.

And nobody but nobody but nobody is going to point a finger at Microsoft.

See Also
Red Hat Diaries: Untouchable
BBC News: Malicious programs hit new high
The Technological: Opening the Windows Box
Industry Watch: Windows Still Only Source of Spam

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