Feeds

Malware lingers months on infected PCs

Resident evil

High performance access to file storage

Malware stays around on infected PCs far longer than previously thought, according to the latest research from Trend Micro.

Previous estimates suggested that a compromised machine remains infected for approximately six weeks. Based on an analysis of around 100 million compromised IPs, Trend Micro concludes that many infected IPs are infected (or repeatedly infected) for more than two years, with a median infection length of 300 days. Four in five compromised machines are infected for more than a month.

A graph from Trend Micro suggests that if systems aren't disinfected quickly then infection tends to linger around indefinitely, possibly until the point users exchange compromised boxes for new machines.

Trend's study also looked at the botnet landscape. Three strains of botnet agent - Koobface, Zeus/Zbot and Ilomo/Clampi - are causing the most damage in terms of identity theft.

The Koobface botnet, for example, has co-opted around 51,000 machines into its ranks. Koobface uses between five and six command and control centers (C&C) to control these zombie clients at any one time. If a particular control domain is taken down by a particular provider, then botnet herders behind the malware establishes a new command outpost elsewhere. Between the middle of March and mid-August 2009, Trend Micro recorded around 46 Koobface control domains.

Trend's stats don't cover dormant infections by the Conficker worm. Stats from the Anti-Conficker Working Group suggest the malware is still resident on more than five million compromised machines. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.