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Lowest Level of Infection in UK PCs

An online tool used to measure malware volume has surprisingly marked the UK computers with the least infection than those in other countries of Europe.

Panda Software's measuring tool, called Nanoscan, placed the UK at the lowest rank on the malware chart in seven days, from September 19-26, 2007. Among the UK PCs that Nanoscan scanned, only 8.1% contained active malware. Using another measure to assess inactive or 'latent' malware, however, it was found that the UK did not fare well accounting for 20.7% of computers.

The top countries in the list relating to active malware were France with 28.2%, Mexico 23.1%, Brazil 18%, the US 17.8%, and Argentina 17.4%.

Although the figures seem to reveal very high rates of infection, the results are only with respect to individuals who went to the Website and expressed desire to undergo scanning. It is more likely that these individuals are biased towards owning infected computers. The security firm has structured its own malware map of the world using the statistics, which is gathered from mostly consumer systems counting to thousands every fifteen minutes.

Ironically, nearly 8% of the PCs that were scanned and reported to have shown active malware also had anti-virus solutions deployed. This seems to sustain the view that traditional signature-based malware detection software no longer protects computers sufficiently. The view also matches that of Panda Software

In Panda Software's opinion, nobody is quite certain what number of computers get the malware infection at any point in time, though in 2006, Microsoft's own research revealed an optimistic result that malware affected 1 in 300 computers running Windows.

Microsoft's data was remarkable because it was based on a large sample of about 270 million users of the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which comes with Windows software. However, Microsoft couldn't estimate the percentage of computers that were infected with malicious software.

Although the figure of 5.7 Million out of 270 Million computers could be equivalent to 1 in 47 PCs, the number of scanned PCs was much more than 270 Million, so the true infection rate is far less, according to Microsoft.

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