Almost 50% of malware infections are user initiated

According to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report released very recently, 45% of all malware infections are propagated per medium of social engineering techniques. These are the threats which trick users into running a malicious program and rely heavily on user interaction.

Not far behind is malware inflicted by maliciously taking advantage of the Windows Autorun feature. Autorun abuse weighs in at 43%. Somewhat surprisingly, the report states that a mere 6% of all malware is propagated by exploiting software vulnerabilities. It goes on to say that 90% of exploit attacks targeted vulnerabilities which were at least 365 days old and where a security update was readily available from the affected vendor – with less than 1% of all attacks targeting zero day vulnerabilities.

The remaining 6% is attributed to “other methods”, the most prominent being attacks on weak passwords plus traditional virus attacks. Whether you agree with the report’s findings or take them with a grain of salt, the statistics do tend to confirm the advice most often proffered by security experts – a large proportion of malware attacks can indeed be thwarted by user habits, per medium of a heightened awareness and a little more attention to detail.

Download the full report HERE (924KB PDF)

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.