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Microsoft: Brazil Suffers Most Malware Infections In The World

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Microsoft reports increase in the number of vulnerabilities affecting Windows systems around the world

The latest edition of Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report has found Brazil is the country most affected by malware, as the number of vulnerability disclosures rose 9.4 percent in the second half of last year.

The report analyses exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware by using data gathered from Internet services and more than 600 million computers worldwide as Microsoft continues to position itself as one of the best positioned companies to combat cyber threats.

Global Infections

Overall, malware infections affecting Windows systems rose nearly 6 percent to 20 percent in the second half of 2015.

target security attack malware breach © xtock ShutterstockThe countries reporting the most malware infections in Q4 2015 was perhaps surprisingly Brazil (34.4 percent), followed by Russia (28.7 percent) and Italy (22.3 percent). The United States was further down the list (12.5 percent), along with the United Kingdom (13.9 percent).

The type of infections differs across geographies, and Microsoft interestingly provided a detailed chart that broke down the prevalence of malware types found worldwide. It is perhaps surprising to discover that browser modifiers (7.6 percent) and Trojans (7.1 percent) remain the most common forms of malware found globally.

Worms (3.3 percent), software bundlers (3.1 percent) and downloaders (2.3 percent) were also encountered. Less common include Adware (1.6 percent); exploits (1.4 percent); viruses (1.1 percent); ransomware (0.3 percent) and password stealers (0.2 percent).

The most commonly encountered threat in 2H15 was Win32/Gamarue, a worm typically distributed via exploit kits and social engineering. It was commonly encountered in South East Asia and the Middle East.

Threat Landscape

The report confirms that threat landscape of today is certainly getting tougher for IT professionals to deal with.

And it is not just criminals and hackers that are responsible for malware, but sometimes legitimate companies as well. Last month for example, Cisco accused French company Tuto4PC of secretly adding spyware and addware to its own software.

Matters are not helped by the fact that often the biggest threat to organisations comes not from external sources, but from within.

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