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Windows users have to look at the Internet as a source of unending attacks. You can defend yourself with some software and some common sense, and the defences are set to get even better.
Microsoft has released its latest July – December 2007 volume of the Security Intelligence Report.
Among the findings are :
- There was a 300% increase in the number of trojan downloaders and droppers.
- Adware remained the most prevalent category of potentially unwanted sotware.
- The top potentially unwanted sotware family detected in the second half of 2007 was Win32/Hotbar.
- The most prevalent rogue security sotware detected in the second half of 2007 was Win32/Winixer.
- During 2H07 the MSRT proportionally cleaned malware from 60% less Windows Vista-based computers, compared to computers running Windows XP Service Pack 2.
- Phishing is still predominantly an English-language phenomenon.
There are two basic popular types of malware infection these days: the Trojan horse program marketed through links in an e-mail and drive-by browser hijackings. I have a hard time getting my hands around how effective one or the other is.
A big part of the consideration for vulnerability exploits is, if they happen to execute, how much damage can they do? Microsoft has done a lot of work in this area over the last few years, aiming to restrict the ability of exploits to do much damage if they get through initial defences.
One of my favorite Microsoft bloggers, Robert Hensing, who works in the Security Vulnerability Research and Defense group, argues that these second-level defenses are good and getting better.