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Conficker Infection High as Users Ignore Fundamental Safeguards

An online security company 'ESET' reports that computer users aren't still adopting fundamental security measures to safeguard their systems from online attacks.

An assessment by ESET indicates that the highest number of identifications for malicious programs made during June 2009 was "Win32/Conficker" that accounted for 11.08% of all malware. The Conficker virus, which infects networks, actually began to multiply in late 2008 when it exploited a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows software.

Given the Conficker virus once again occupied the top position on the monthly threat chart after its No.2 position in May 2009, security researchers say that consumers are still ignoring the fundamental measures like disabling the 'Autorun' feature and applying timely patch, both of which are essential to defend computers from the malware's attack.

David Harley, Director of malware Intelligence, ESET, stated that he believed that the prominence of Conficker virus in high malware ratings was because of numerous computers, chiefly botnetted business PCs or home PCs that did not have proper AV or patches deployed, as reported by SCMAGAZINEUK on July 6, 2009.

Harley added that the lapse on the part of computer users was frequently because they simply didn't bother to use the right AV or patch, or perhaps there had been a very old infection, which was blocking updates and patches escaping users' notice.

The ranking of INF/Autorun dropped during June 2009, with the security company detecting 8.33% of the total malevolent inbound traffic generated by the program. ESET also reports that during May 2009, this program had reached the top spot and usually proliferated through USB drives that have become very useful over the recent months.

Moreover, maintaining its No.3 rank was the malicious program Win32/PSW.OnLineGames. This Trojan, according to ESET, generated 8.24% of overall malevolent inbound traffic through phishing attacks that targeted only online gamers.

In addition, the company reports that the bulk mailers like Mydoom, Bagle and Netsky continue to linger although related patches are available.

Thus, ESET advises users to use the latest security patches, deactivate Autorun and do not utilize unprotected shared folders on their systems.

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