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Windows Popularity, Cause for Its High Malware Infection

According to security firm Kaspersky Lab, malware developers are effectively targeting Microsoft Windows because of its extreme popularity and high share in the market.

States the firm that malware disseminated through e-mail realized its maximum potential only when Windows as well as Outlook acquired a considerably high share in the market, according to the news published by ITWeb on June 15, 2010.

Malicious software actually started to thrive ever since home PCs started using the Internet. Viruses like 'Iloveyou' and 'Melissa,' for example, could therefore spread worldwide in just minutes rather than crawling little by little between one floppy and another. A growing number of platforms too had a key role to play.

Says Kaspersky that malware created for Windows operating system is often intended to dispatch junk e-mails, cause Distributed Denial-of-Service assaults, or gain control of a computer by utilizing a worm. For instance, the notorious Conficker virus, which spreads through the Windows OS, at one time controlled almost 7 Million computers around the world.

Meanwhile, besides Kaspersky's own findings, a security report from Microsoft as well indicates that numerous Windows computers have been compromised and converted into 'zombies.' According to the security researchers, when miscreants compromise a PC, which is then called a zombie, with a Trojan virus, it can be added to a 'botnet' i.e. network of bot-infected PCs for relaying spam as well as unleashing cyber attacks.

From the time Microsoft released its "Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool" in January 2009, the module detected 5.7 Million separate Windows computers that had one or the other malware infection. The tool cleaned 16 Million cases of malicious software from these PCs.

Microsoft further reported that Windows users were significantly at risk from Backdoor Trojans. This is the most widespread threat, just ahead of e-mail worms that were detected and cleaned off a little more than 1 Million computers.

Hence, advising computer users, the security specialists stated that those using Windows must apply all the patches that Microsoft releases from time to time. And since the majority of assaults happen because of shortfall in patching, using regular updates would do much to ward off the attacks, they explained.

Related article: Windows XP Fault Strike Firewall

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