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Microsoft Discovers Trojans as the Major Information Security Threat

Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report (SIR) (Version 7), for the period January 2009-June 2009), released on November 2, 2009. The report sheds light on the fact that in the US, the UK, Italy and France, trojans were the biggest category of information security threat.

The report has discovered that China witnessed many language-specific browser-based dangers while malware attacking online banking has been rampant in Brazil. Korea and Spain witnessed the dominance of worms led by threats victimizing online gamers.

Other exciting findings of the report highlight that phishing impressions increased considerably during the first half of 2009, basically because of a significant rise in phishing attacks on social networking websites. Actually, the volume of phishing found by Microsoft was almost four times higher in May 2009 and June 2009 as it was in the ten previous months (H2-2008 and through April 2009), an outcome of a campaign targeting social websites.

The report also finds that spam volume in H1-2009 was dominated by product ads, mainly pharmaceutical products.

However, the biggest finding of the report by Microsoft is that the overall number of reported vulnerabilities in the industry reduced by around 30% from H2-2008, with less than 2,500 new vulnerabilities revealed in H1-2009 as compared to more than 3,000 in H2-2008.

Chief Analyst for Security and Risk Management at Forrester, Chenxi Wang, stated that it may be that the industry is improving in writing software, but such a drastic reduction is not expected, reported darkreading.com on November 2, 2009. He also said that this might just be a momentary decline, and they have to wait and see whether this converts into a long-lasting trend.

Apart from this, General Manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, Vinny Gullotto, declared that Microsoft also witness a continuing trend for hackers targeting third-party software, as per the news published by PCWorld on November 2, 2009. For PCs running Windows Vista, 84.5% of the browser-based exploits attacked third-party software instead of Microsoft's.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

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