Feeds

Malware lingers months on infected PCs

Resident evil

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.