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Microsoft’s Vista Vulnerable To Malware

U.K. security company Sophos that leads the world in integrated threat management solutions, on November 30, 2006, announced the ten most virulent viruses flooding computers around the world during November 2006. Sophos said that two fifths of the virus activity was 'Vista-ready'.

Sophos PLC detected three viruses that spread through e-mail and could infect 'Vista' customers who work on a third party Web e-mail client. The problem with this e-mail client is that when it stops, worms such as 'Stratio-Zip', 'Netsky-D', and 'MyDoom O' evade Vista's defenses when system users receive messages, which these worms have infected.

'Stratio-Zip' was on the top spot among the ten viruses and comprised of a third of the total e-mailed malware in November this year. It replaced the long-time 'Netsky.p' worm that made its debut in 2004. 'Netsky.p' is evidence to the existence of a large number of unprotected computers. Even the simplest anti-virus program could stop 'Netsky' amplification but some people ignored that.

'Netsky.p' was in the second position in 'top ten' and captured 15.6% of all malware. 'Bagle.zip', 'Zafi.b' and 'Netsky.d' occupied the third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

Mikko Hypponen, 'chief research officer' at 'F-Secure Corp' suggested that additional Vista security systems would protect users. If a customer unwarily opens a file infected with malware, Vista could send alert signals and ask the user before letting the malware do its damage. Therefore, unless the user specifically allows entry of these malware, they perhaps wouldn't be successful to infect the machine.

While Microsoft has done a commendable job in providing huge security improvements by Vista, other organizations could follow the example and supplement their systems with compatible technology that protects against hackers' activities.

It is not far when cyber criminals will develop malware suiting Vista or change current threats to fill in place. For e.g., the 'Stratio-Zip' worm constantly remains on the 'top 10 list' only because it is capable of making modifications to its code that compel security systems to identify the malware again and again.

As per Sophos' findings, the infected e-mails remained low at 0.28% in November but there was a voluminous 7,612 new threats.

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

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