Feeds

Win XP? Your PLAGUE risk is SIX times that of Win 8 - NOW

... and that's BEFORE Microsoft ends support - report

Security for virtualized datacentres

UK-based Windows XP users were six more likely to actually be infected than their counterparts who use more recent versions of Windows, according to figures from Microsoft.

The company is likely trying to highlight the infection rates of the 12-year-old OS as a way to get customers to upgrade. It says that 9.1 of 1,000 XP (SP3) boxes scanned - which is just under one per cent - had been found to be infected.

The software giant's latest annual "Security Intelligence Report" reports that, on average, 17 per cent of computers worldwide encountered malware during the first half of 2013.

Top threats facing the UK include HTML/IframeRef: – "specially formed" iFrame tags that point to remote websites containing malicious code; Sirefef: – a rogue security software family called Antivirus 2010 among other names; and BlacoleRef: – malicious JavaScript inserted into compromised websites that redirects browsers to the infamous Blackhole Exploit Kit.

From Microsoft's report

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report takes data from over one billion sources across the Windows landscape – data was drawn from Redmond real estate such as its Malicious Software Removal Tool, Exchange Online, Windows Defender and more (see page 134) – providing an overview into the threat landscape across Windows boxes around the world. The information was collected during the first six months of 2013.

The research also looks at software vulnerabilities, software vulnerability exploits, malicious and potentially unwanted software and security vulnerabilities in both Microsoft and third-party software.

"Vulnerability disclosures across the industry decreased 1.3 per cent from 2H 2012, and 10.1 percent from 1H 2012. An increase in operating system vulnerability disclosures in 1H 2013 largely offset a corresponding decrease in application vulnerability disclosures during the same period, resulting in little overall change," according to Microsoft.

"Overall, however, vulnerability disclosures remain significantly lower than they were prior to 2009, when totals of 3,500 disclosures or more per half-year period were not uncommon."

Microsoft doesn't provide a reason but El Reg's security desk suspects that some combination of improved security practices among vendors and the growth in the exploit marketplaces (which naturally result in lower vulnerability disclosures) is behind the change.

Application vulnerability disclosures accounted for 63.5 per cent of total disclosures for the first half of 2013. Operating system vulnerabilities accounted for 22.2 per cent of total disclosures, while browser bug reports made up the remaining 14.3 per cent.

Redmond is urging laggard Win XP users to upgrade their machines before security updates for the OS end on 8 April 2014. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.