Rogue anti-virus begun to be seen last year as UK users became more secure online

News by Dan Raywood

The move to the prevalence of rogue anti-virus software began last year.

The move to the prevalence of rogue anti-virus software began last year.


According to Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report for July-December 2008, the amount of fake anti-virus began to spread to the current levels seen now.


Cliff Evans, security strategy manager at Microsoft, claimed that the situation is only going to get worse too as the spammers ‘pray on the fears of the public'. Evans said: “In terms of advice, it is about having up-to-date anti-virus from a reliable source. We will launch the Morro software in the second half of this year.”


The report also showed that Microsoft vulnerabilities began to drop towards the end of 2008. Evans claimed that there was a shift from vulnerabilities and exploits of its systems, and that there was a move to exploits of third parties.


One that was prevalent was Adobe, who had a large number of exploits due to the use of the PDF format as an attack vector rising sharply. Microsoft attacks in July amounted to more than twice as many as in all of the first half of 2008, and continued to double or almost double for most of the remaining months of the year.


Microsoft's UK chief security advisor Ed Gibson, claimed: “It is down to the efficiency of the updates, you hear about it more that people are bypassing policy, what about the other applications that you don't hear about? On Patch Tuesday we see a flurry of activity from other companies who claim not to have virus problems.”


The most infected countries appeared as Russia and Brazil, where Gibson claimed that there was a problem with password stealing and a proliferation of gambling sites being hit, which as they were in a different language, made it hard to prevent.


On a more positive note, Gibson said: “UK people are doing a much better job of upgrading their software, on the survey of the most infected countries the UK is not even listed. A report by Symantec last year showed that the UK had the highest percentage of malware and infected computers, now it is not even on the top ten of most malicious.”


So is this a case of UK citizens being better informed of security and how to protect against attacks? Gibson said: “Bizarrely so, it is a combination of attacks, data losses have heightened awareness and Conficker has been in the news a lot when some papers said that on the 1st April the world was going to disappear into a black hole. Instead this heightened awareness; we have seen great articles that are doing just that.”








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