Report indicates that organized crime continues to grow online with financial gain as the key motivator.
Microsoft Gulf has released the eighth volume of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report that provides an in-depth and unique view of the threat to computers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The national data, which is taken from reports by Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) shows that the threat landscape in the UAE was dominated by malware, which accounted for 82.6 percent of all threats detected on infected machines. It also highlights that cybercrime continues to mature as criminals model their operations on conventional business processes.
The most common category in the UAE was Worms, which accounted for 23.3 percent of all infected computers. These worm families can spread via mapped drives with missing or weak passwords or via USB drives. The second-most common category was Miscellaneous Trojans, which includes all trojan families that are not classified as downloaders/droppers or backdoors, and accounted for 21.2 percent of all infected computers. Together, Miscellaneous Trojans and Trojan Downloaders & Droppers made up more than 37 percent of all families detected on infected computers in the UAE in 2H’09.
“SIRv8 provides compelling evidence that cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and packaging online threats to create, update and maintain exploits kits that are sold on to others to deploy,” said Vinny Gullotto, General Manager, Microsoft Malware Protection Center, Microsoft Corp. “By bringing out this report, our aim at Microsoft is to share our extensive analysis of the threat landscape and related guidance with our customers, partners and the broader industry, helping ensure people are better informed and in turn protected.”
Based on the key findings from the report, Microsoft recommends customers use the data and guidance in the report to better assess and improve their own security practices. Some of the active steps Microsoft recommends include the following:
- Check for and apply software updates on an ongoing basis, including updates provided for third-party applications.
- Install and maintain up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware programs only from trusted vendors that provide increased protection from malicious and potentially unwanted software
- Open links and attachments in e-mail and instant messages with caution, even if they are from a known, trusted source.
- Adopt safe Internet browsing
SIRv8 provides a view of the threat landscape via a collection of data from approximately 500 million computers, resulting in deep dive analyzed data for 26 countries. The security intelligence is collected through the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT), Forefront Online Protection for Exchange and Forefront Client Security, Microsoft’s newest security offering called Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Live Hotmail and Bing.
A full list of Microsoft’s guidance, a downloadable version of SIRv8 and other related resources are available at www.microsoft.com/sir