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Malware Declines, Trojans Dominate 79

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the rubber-up-out-there dept.
Orome1 writes "According to data gathered by Panda Security, only 39 percent of computers scanned in February were infected with malware, compared to 50 percent last month. Trojans were found to be the most prolific malware threat, responsible for 61 percent of all cases, followed by traditional viruses and worms which caused 11.59 percent and 9 percent of cases worldwide, respectively. These figures have hardly changed with respect to the January data."
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Malware Declines, Trojans Dominate

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  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @08:54AM (#35367882) Homepage

    So that's how many hundred million bots?

    • by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @09:10AM (#35368052) Journal

      The problem with statistics like this from someone who offers a free antivirus scanner is that, well, people will download it as their first antivirus software, generally once they discover that antivirus might be a good idea. So that 39% is not fully representative of all computers out there, only ones where people have suddenly discovered a need for antivirus and want something free.

      I don't know about you, but people only come to me for help once their computers start "slowing down" or "acting funny", and the first thing I do is install a free antivirus client for them and do a scan. And, surprise surprise, I'd say 90% of the Windows computers I've worked on have had some form of malware intrusion, in many cases pages full of them. I think I've had one co-worker have me look at a computer when she first bought it, and that was after her last computer had a really bad infection, so she wanted to make sure the new one stayed clean.

      It's like the ER saying that 80% of the population they observe have severe injuries, or (oblig. car analogy) a tire shop claiming that 70% of the cars entering their shop have worn tires. Of course they do! You don't go to the ER unless you need to see a doctor RFN, and you generally don't go to a tire shop if you aren't seriously contemplating new tires. In the same vein, many (most?) people don't start taking antivirus seriously until their trial version of McNorton ran out a year ago and their computer is acting a little funny ever since that cute fluffy bunny video didn't work from that guy with the funny name in East Nowherestan.

      So, honestly, I'm very surprised the number is that low.

      • by AJH16 (940784) *
        You forgot about the people who actually get free anti-virus software to keep their system clean. That's why it is so low. And yeah, I definitely agree on your reasoning. I know my personal record is fixing someone's computer only to find it had over 16,000 difference pieces of malware on it... I believe the solution was a reformat and instructions to be more careful with kazaa.
        • by causality (777677)

          I know my personal record is fixing someone's computer only to find it had over 16,000 difference pieces of malware on it

          ... that you knew about.

        • by maxume (22995)

          How many of those pieces were 'malicious' tracking cookies used to inflate the effectiveness of the scanner?

          Sure, tracking cookies are irritating, but they aren't really the same thing as a botnet or whatever.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Well I can't answer for him, but I can say my personal record at the last shop I worked at was 4673 pieces of malware all running on this top o' the line Toshiba laptop. It actually took one hour and 43 minutes to boot! Normally we'd just do a wipe and reinstall and never mess with it, but the boss had bet me a pizza and a six pack that it wouldn't beat his record of 2879 pieces of malware running. But I had taken one look at the hipster douche that had brought it in and said "I think I'm beating your recor

            • by camperslo (704715)

              Well I guess ya disproved the myth that Windows users can't make use of multiple cores...

    • Nearly 40% of all computers infected? Hundreds of millions of computers controlled by criminals.

      Which operating system allows this? And why can't we recover the cost of their ineptitude from the manufacturer?

      • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @09:36AM (#35368444)

        Which operating system allows this?

        Any operating system that lets you install your own software is vulnerable to Trojans. Most Linux distributions would be less vulnerable if you can get the user to understand how to only ever install software from the official repositories, but a stupid user is going to follow the instructions on some random website to get new screen savers no matter what operating system they're using.

        • I'd just like to point out that in our secretary's office is a windows XP box that is constantly rebooting ever since the IT department pushed a bad update. While I don't doubt that users installing their own software is a big issue, over-zealous system administrators or software companies who don't fully test their updates are also a problem. Perhaps not a security problem, but one that costs boku money & time nonetheless.
          • The windows update reboot loop issues... Got to love MS

            http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949358 [microsoft.com]

            I love their answer too... run a repair install. Most of the time I've seen this occur is because there is a file permission error and their stupid fucking update mechanism can't figure out that it needs to rollback the update, skip it, and report to the user what the problem is. I love how numerous updates leave random directories in the root drive that can't be deleted unless you take ownership and set full access

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Which operating system allows this?

        All of them.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @08:56AM (#35367906) Journal
    I blame the UN/Satanic New World Order/Illuminati population control conspiracy...
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      I blame the UN/Satanic New World Order/Illuminati population control conspiracy...

      If there ever was or is a population control conspiracy it's not working. The world population is still growing at an unsustainable rate.

    • by Kozz (7764)

      I blame the UN/Satanic New World Order/Illuminati population control conspiracy...

      I blame the University of Southern California.

  • I wonder what caused it? Adobe did patch a few of their nastier PDF & Flash bugs. It'd be funny if that's all there was. Suck for computer shops though, business is way down :P.
    • There are still plenty of machines that don't have Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader updated to the latest versions. Keep those three up to date and install a good ad blocker, and the chances of getting infected drop a bit.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      According to some research released by Brian Krebs, most exploits are Java based. Other research suggests that something like 70% of PCs have critical remotely exploitable conditions (plugins in browsers mostly.)

      If infections fell recently its probably because companies like MS, AVG, etc are doing a better job catching catching malware before it infects people. Joe User doesn't understand that he needs to also update his Java and his Adobe products.

      • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

        Other research suggests that something like 70% of PCs have critical remotely exploitable conditions (plugins in browsers mostly.)

        ...which is why I have Firefox configured to disable the Adobe PDF plugin and simply download PDF files. If I wanted to download a PDF file, I can open it, but a drive-by exploit can't just fire up the Adobe in-browser plugin without any permission.

  • I've cleaned others' PCs for forever and a day, and I've always wondered about this.

    malware = malicious software
    trojan = malicious software pretending to be good software

    However, most of my experience with so called malware is things like fake virus scanners and browser bars and weather gadgets, etc. To me that seems pretty tojan-esque.

    Does it have to contain a hijacking element in order to be considered a trojan? That would make sense for the analogy, but I've never heard it described that way.

    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      A trojan opens backdoors in the system, so the controller can either hijack your computer or send more malware your end. If it doesn't do that, its not a trojan.

      So a virus which pops up "VIRUSES DETECTED! BUY THIS PRODUCT" is malware but not a trojan.

      Think about the Trojan horse in the greek myth, when it got in, it opened the gates for worse things to come.

      • Yep that makes perfect sense, thanks :)

      • And here I thought a Trojan(TM) was designed to prevent popups leading to infections, pregnancies, etc. :->
    • by MSesow (1256108)

      most of my experience with so called malware is things like fake virus scanners and browser bars and weather gadgets, etc.

      I worked a job with an AV company doing tech support, and this is most people's experience. And for a good reason, too - these are the ones you notice. Many of these are written in order to spook someone into thinking that they need to buy something by displaying a "Windows has detected viruses!!!!11!" message, so that they will purchase SuperWindowsAV2011 (or some other similarly named "product"). But the thing that really makes me worry is that if the malware is well written and designed to go unnotice

      • by causality (777677)

        and the marketing folk just make the whole situation of poor perception worse by trying to make it sound like their product stops everything

        There are many times when what they would call "marketing", I would call "fraud". Apparently it's legal, too.

  • Should have used a Trojan sized tissue!
  • by dcw3 (649211)

    "According to data gathered by Panda Security, only 39 percent of computers scanned in February were infected with malware, compared to 50 percent last month

    And exactly how did 11% of them get cleaned up over the last month???

    • "According to data gathered by Panda Security, only 39 percent of computers scanned in February were infected with malware, compared to 50 percent last month

      And exactly how did 11% of them get cleaned up over the last month???

      Format and reinstall?

      But seriously, those were probably not the same computers anyway.

    • > And exactly how did 11% of them get cleaned up over the last month?

      What makes you think they did? You don't imagine that these guys know or care anything about statistics, do you? All we can clonclude from this is that lots of computers are infected.

      • by dcw3 (649211)

        What makes you think they did?

        Sorry if my tone didn't come across sarcastically enough, but that was my intention. I in no way believe their numbers, certainly not that they dropped from 50 to 39%. Something is obviously amiss with their methodology.

  • Panda Security software must be installed on all the computers that it scanned. So if 50% of those computers had infections last month and 39% of them STILL have infections now, then I conclude that Panda Security software is surprising ineffective against malware and trojans.

  • If wonder if this has anything to do with Microsoft's recent inclusion of MSE in Windows Update. It's been a little while now since this happened, maybe it's starting to make a difference.

    http://it.slashdot.org/story/10/11/05/205256/MS-Adds-Security-Suite-To-Update-Service-Antivirus-Rival-Objects [slashdot.org]

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