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Malware endemic even on protected PCs

More pox than a back-street Bangkok brothel

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Many users remain infected with computer malware – despite the fact that the vast majority are running machines protected by anti-virus software.

A study by European Union statistics agency EUROSTAT found that one third of PC users (31 per cent) had the pox even though the vast majority (84 per cent) were running security software (anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall) on their PCs. Of the survey's respondents, 3 per cent reported financial loss as a result of farming or phishing attacks, while a further 4 per cent reported privacy violations involving data sent online.

Bulgaria (58 per cent) and Malta (50 per cent) top the list of most infected users. By comparison, Finland (20 per cent), Ireland (15 per cent) and Austria (14 per cent) did relatively well.

Trojans (59.2 per cent) were the most common types of infected found on compromised PCs, followed by viruses (11.7 per cent).

A separate study by antivirus firm Panda, also published this week, tells a similar story. Half (50 per cent) of the computers scanned by Panda in January harboured malware. As with the EU study, Trojans were the single greatest problem – accounting for 59.2 per cent of problems). Machines in Thailand, China, Taiwan, Russia and Turkey were the most commonly affected. Panda's figures come from users of its Active Scan tool.

Panda published the study in order to illustrate its long-standing argument that the use of cloud-based architectures is needed in order to stand any chance of keeping the growing volume of malware producers by cybercrooks and mischief-makers in check. ®

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