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Millions of Chinese Surf Internet Without Antivirus Protection

According to a latest annual security report posted on the website of China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT), the country served over a quarter of the world's PCs tainted with a major variant of the infamous worm Conficker in 2009.

Also known as Kido, Downadup and Downup, this particular worm is a computer virus that targets the operating system of Microsoft Windows and was first found in November 2008. The worm has since swelled speedily into now assumed to be the biggest computer worm infection since the 2003 SQL Slammer.

In addition, at the end of 2009, the country had around 7 Million IP addresses that were infected with the notorious Conficker B, hence highlighting the extensive reach of the malware within the country.

The security report also shows that until now, Conficker controllers have barely used their network of infected systems. However, the network can potentially be used to instigate a crippling denial-of-service attack by instructing all of the machines to get in touch with a victim server simultaneously.

Parallel to this, security firm Qualys also brought out that machines infected with the worm are thought to constitute a huge botnet for the purpose of conducting DDoS attacks or for relaying spam. However, Conficker has an even direct impact on the infected systems

As per the analysis of Qualys, 10% of Windows systems are still not fixed for this worm.

In the meantime, CNCERT's report also brings out that the number of country's Internet users not running antivirus solution on their system increased considerably last year, albeit Internet security risks continued to swell. The fraction of country's Internet users not using security software in 2009 was 4.4% last year, up from 3.9% in the year earlier (2008).

As per the estimates of China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), 384 Million Chinese used the Internet in H2 2009. By that computation, around 17 Million people browsed the Internet without any antivirus software. This ratio represents a vast pool of computers that could be easily infected by attackers for accomplishing malicious ends.

Related article: Millions of Windows Computers Never Patched

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