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ESET Discovers 13 Infected Files Per Compromised PC

Research team at IT security firm ESET compiled the data of past few months on the basis of which it found that there is an average of 13 malicious files in an infected system.

Pierre-Marc Bureau, senior researcher, ESET, stated that discovering such a high number of infected files was really shocking, as per the news published by Dark Reading on September 3, 2009. He said that initially many people asked him to ensure if the data was accurate or some error had been committed in calculating it.

According to him, the ratio of 13 malicious files per compromised system is just the starting, reported The Tech Herald on September 3, 2009. Moreover, a malware infection does not necessarily equate to one malicious file on a system, as there may be many infected files on a system that have not been infested, he said.

Giving a further explanation, Bureau explained that modern malware families like WMA/TrojanDownloader.GetCodec contaminate multimedia files, thus playing any of these files will infect the system. For instance, if a person having a collection of 500 songs in his PC gets infected by this threat, he will have over 500 malicious files on his PC.

Another fascinating point to note is that there are three malware families on average on a given infected machine. This is the outcome of another trend - the pay per install malware distribution programs, wherein criminals are paid on the basis of the number of hosts infected by them. In fact, it is an extremely lucrative business that has made some of the criminals to earn upto thousands in a day.

Bureau noted rogue anti-virus software as one of the best examples of such malicious software. Rogue anti-virus software do not copy themselves to external drives or spread via a network. Instead, their operators just pay the criminal gangs each time a copy of rogue software is successfully installed on a machine.

ESET researchers finally concluded that more malware per infected systems and more infected files on per system are being observed in recent times. Apart from this, the number of malware authors has also increased and they are increasingly employing better technologies in order to develop new variants of malware.

Related article: ESET Discusses Malware Writers’ Trend

» SPAMfighter News - 22-09-2009

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