Viruses Infect 12 Million Computers in UK During Recent Months

According to Moneysupermarket.com, a website that conducted a survey recently, almost 12 Million PC users in Britain have been infected by a spyware or virus and become prey to hacking attacks in the past six months (since November 2008).

The survey shows that although 95% of respondents used a firewall or antivirus, yet 40% of participants said they suffered a security breach that caused a serious disturbance on their system. Further, one in ten of those surveyed said the hacking attacks dreadfully made their computers inoperable.

Moreover, 9% claimed that the infection in their computers came from a porn site. While one-fifth of respondents attributed the source of the attacks to web browsing, 12% said the breach was caused due to viewing of unknown files.

Notably, security breach attacks appear more common among men (27%) than women (21%). Youths, with 38% of users who have not reached 20-years of age and 30% of users in their 20s, state that they faced problems from PC viruses.

Meanwhile, during November 2008-April 2009, the computer virus found to be most prevalent in the UK was 'Conficker.' It infected a massive number of PCs, converting each into a zombie machine that took the commands from a distantly located server, which functioned as a controller of a large number of compromised PCs called a 'botnet.' The Conficker provided spammers and hackers, a 'backdoor' facility to enter people's systems, thus putting users of Windows at risk of ID fraud and theft.

As per similar news, during the 3rd week of May 2009 when Forrester Consulting conducted a study for Veracode, a provider of risk management services, it was found that 62% of British companies had suffered a computer hack during the period starting from May 2008.

James Parker, Manager of Broadband at Moneysupermarket.com, said people should now know much more about the Internet threats than they knew before, as reported by Webuser on May 14, 2009. Parker advised users to routinely update their antivirus programs and deploy firewalls to prevent any possible security compromise, avoid attachments in unfamiliar senders' e-mail and resist downloading programs from Facebook to prevent potential malware.

Related article: Viruses Pose Biggest Threat to Asian Companies

» SPAMfighter News - 23-05-2009

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