Zombie infections biggest problem for Windows PCs

By Justin Mann on June 12, 2006, 11:02 AM
If you were to sit down at any random Windows workstation or home desktop, what would be the most common theme among them? Since even the Microsoft logo changes from version to version, the most prevelant theme among them all is going to be their rate of infection. Some 60% (or more) of machines running Windows that were scanned by the 'Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool' (a standard download as part of Windows updates) were infected by zombie bot trojans, which currently rank as the premiere threat to a Windows PC. Moreso than keyloggers, mass-mailers and plain destructive viruses, bot software is a problem not only because of the damage it can do to the users PC, but the damage it can do to remote PCs as the machine is added to a growing number of PCs used in DDoS attacks.

According to the report, 16 million different bot infections were removed from 5.7 million unique computers. This data may not match up directly with the actual number of infections, considering the number of pirated copies of Windows being used and also the people who do not use automatic updates. Rootkits, too, are a problem, with a 14% infection rate noted by Microsoft, though it is still considered something that hasn't reached “widespread prevalence”.




User Comments: 14

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lordbf1 said:
just one more reason to run linux " for now anyways".\lordbf1
DragonMaster said:
[quote]Some 60% (or more) or machines running Windows that were scanned by the 'Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool' (a standard download as part of Windows updates) were infected by zombie bot trojans,[/quote]Oh, that's why we get so much spam! When they say on TV to have a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware, get them! (Also, Norton CANNOT be considered as an anti-virus, Zone Alarm CANNOT be considered as a firewall and Ad-aware CANNOT be considered as an anti-spyware. These were good, but turned into mainstream software, so quality went down because they knew people would buy them anyways.) Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5, AVG Anti-Virus and Spybot S&D won't cost you a single buck and work MUCH better than the mainsteam programs everybody have. I guess I should add a security guide to my "to do" list...[quote]" for now anyways". [/quote]But linux as a normal user /w SELinux still would be more secure than Windows as an administrator.
Canadian said:
Norton isn't that bad, just as long as you get like, systemworks. Atleast Norton is better than AVG. But if you are smart, you wont get a virus. Just, dont do stupid things. The only reason I have antivirus is because my parents download music, and the last time they got a virus, it turened out to be a network virus, and it killed my comp also.[color=red]Edited because of language--Mictlantecuhtli[/color]
Julio said:
I don't agree that Norton is better than AVG, at least in terms of personal computing. I don't get many viruses if at all, but Norton is not free, and it's bloated causing problems with other applications in my experience.
DragonMaster said:
If you prefer, there's AntiVir, NOD32, etc.
brandon dub said:
Norton is a good program, its process hungry and a large application to have running all the time but it detects 98% of any incoming infection. Sbybot is still the best anti spyware freebie and seems to do everything plus more than MS MSR....and I'm still trying to figure out what exactly Windows Defender does, really. It only runs when "I" make a system change or for a new installation. If Defender was hardware the FCC would ban it for interference.The virus world would only change when the majority dummies that get infected would stop buying the removal software from the company that infected them. We spend more time 'removing' the hoax infections than we spend assuming and fixing the next major one.
connerwayne said:
As a software support analyst, I can tell you that there are many problems incurred by Norton. Even more so than McAffey. The firewall is not intuitive for an inexperienced user, and it casues system stability issues randomly. I recommend using Avast anti-virus instead. IMO, its much better than AVG, and 10 times better than Norton. When I started using Avast, I unninstalled Norton, then installed Avast, and it immediately found a trojan virus infected file that Norton was missing.
luvhuffer said:
Norton vs. AVG, Windows vs. Linux, Spybot S&D vs. AdAware, Everything from MS sucks etc. etc. etc. YAWN! Just surf safe.As an aside to that, I have Windows Defender running on my kids 12 year old half brothers machine at his moms house. He downloaded Kazaa Desktop with the expected results. A ton of malware and a few bad search engines/toolbars. As soon as I booted up I got a window from Defender listing everything. Before cleaning up I ran Spybot S&D and got the big green check mark (no problems found). I ran AdAware and got 100 critical item hits. Neither reported the problems Defender had alerted me to. I guess the real problem, that would probably relate to the majority of mainstream issues is that even if Defender showed him what was wrong, he didn't know how to proceed from there. That being said, I have to go back there today as he still has a porn popup, even with pop-up blocker software (It pops-up with Deepnet Browser and Firefox with blockers enabled. sigh.............
iluvnug said:
Zonealarm Security Suite is a great program. Used along side Spybot SD and Adaware, your computer will be safe. But nothing beats using uyour head when downloading, emailing, and browsing. Just be careful what do on the internet.
DragonMaster said:
[quote]but it detects 98% of any incoming infection. (Norton AV)[/quote]How strange, the only computer I know that had Norton on it had viruses that Norton wouldn't detect but AVG would. AVG is not so good also. Once, I had a virus, I had the choice to move it to the virus vault and continue or just continue. I HAD to let the virus execute itself since there was no options to stop it...
es84 said:
I work with anti virus and remove the spyware , worms and virus ppl download , the thing is windows is not secure , no matter what u do the Pc will never be secure , Ms did not make a safe os , every day a new security ptch is released, it iss an OS with ur security , any one who has used a Mac or Linux would know what i mean .
midimench said:
I read an Antivirus top ten report several months ago on pcworld I believe that said AVG was in the top 3 while Norton placed 6th and MacAfee placed 7th out of 10
DragonMaster said:
[quote] I read an Antivirus top ten report several months ago on pcworld I believe that said AVG was in the top 3 while Norton placed 6th and MacAfee placed 7th out of 10[/quote]Proabably, they're not good, just mainstream.[quote] I work with anti virus and remove the spyware , worms and virus ppl download , the thing is windows is not secure , no matter what u do the Pc will never be secure , Ms did not make a safe os , every day a new security ptch is released, it iss an OS with ur security , any one who has used a Mac or Linux would know what i mean .[/quote]The other OSes are probably not so secure also, but don't have the following major problems of security with Windows :-Always running as an Administrator.-Internet Explorer.
broozm said:
A sample of ONE is not a good indication of product x being better or worse than y. Even those who fix these problems all the time, will have so many different combinations of systems, software, version, and websites visited, that it is impossible to do an absolutely rational and authoratitive comparison. It is simply not possible to compare the same infected PC with several different removal/prevention tools - we just get a feeling that x is better than y.Let's face it, it's a moving target, and the "best" solution this week could easily be surpassed by another next week - or even tomorrow.As I see it, one has to put in place a reasonable amount of protection, keep it up to date. The main thing is to reduce dodgy surfing, and eliminate downloading "utilitites" that you don't actually need (or do that on another PC).And then not worry too much. Simply keep your contacts list on an external site gmail, yahoo or another paid service. Backup those videos and photos to DVD, and wait for the inevitable rebuild that you need to do every year or two - it feels like you've got a new PC - but takes a lot of effort. I also keep a list of apps and the source files on a separate hard disc for these occasions.OR go completely "remote" using webmail, webstorage and a web-based Office solution. (hint gmail, Riya, thinkfree - or the bound to be earth-shattering google-spreadsheets)
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