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Malware Circulation through Auction

A study conducted by Sophos on 50 USB keys that were bought at RailCorp's 2011 Lost Property auction in Sydney, revealed that 66% were infected with malware (malicious security programs such as viruses or spying software), reports NETT on December 7, 2011.

In this study, Sophos revealed the identification of 4443 directly accessible files on the 50 devices including 2882 images, 629 source code files, 197 web files, 145 documents, 128 programs and 23 videos.

Sophos claimed the presence of an aggregate 62 infected files, although the worst key representing four separate items of malware contained six infected files.

However, no OS X malware were revealed during the survey. Out of the total 50 USB keys, 9 seemed to be constituted by Macintosh owners, or at least seemed to be used extensively by Macs. Seven of these keys were infected.

Reversely, Apple Macs could be vehemently used to circulate the malware as Mac users usually do not use or require anti virus software and if the Windows system is picked by someone else, the virus may remain undetected and dormant till being used on other PC.

According to Paul Ducklin, Head of Technology, Asia Pacific at computer security Company Sophos, claimed that with the lull of this festive season, revelers should not be carried away with the wrong signal of being secured, as per news published in CSO in December 7, 2011.

The study also reminds the importance of every individual in net world. Regardless of any world discrimination, all are one and worthy for cyber criminals.

While commenting on this malware threat, security experts also held the fact that it is least important that malicious hardware products like USBs, Hard disks and CDs erode PCs with malware or virus. This revelation was quite noticeable in the case of Albrecht Discount, a discount supermarket chain in Germany (ALDI).

Conclusively, ALDI claimed of selling the product, The Fission External 4-in-1 hard drive, DVD, USB and card reader device, in July 2011 across 10 countries, containing a malware through its had disk drive. The worm had a limited usage in a small number of the devices that removed the product from all its stores.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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