Microsoft: 1 out of every 14 downloaded programs is malware

By on May 18, 2011, 3:00 PM

Microsoft has revealed that 1 out of every 14 downloaded programs is later confirmed as malware. The data comes from the software giant's SmartScreen Filter team.

SmartScreen Filter was originally introduced in Internet Explorer 7 by extending the browser's phishing filter to include protection from socially engineered malware. Every website and download is checked against a local list of popular legitimate websites. If the site is not listed, the entire address is sent to Microsoft for further checks, but if it has been labeled as an impostor or harmful, IE7 will show a screen prompting that the site is reported harmful and shouldn't be visited. From there, you can visit your homepage, visit the previous site, or continue to the unsafe page.

In IE8, if you attempt to download a file from a location reported harmful then the download is cancelled. In IE9, the protection against malware downloads is extended with SmartScreen Application Reputation, which warns you if you are downloading an application without a safe reputation from a site that does not have a safe reputation.

Microsoft also announced that the feature now blocks between 2 million and 5 million attacks a day for IE8 and IE9 users. Since the release of IE8, SmartScreen has blocked more than 1.5 billion attempted malware attacks.

The company says that IE9 users are choosing to delete or not run malware 95 percent of the time from the new Application Reputation warnings. That leaves 5 percent that are still being clicked-through, despite being told the downloaded programs could be infected.

Internet Explorer 9 was released on March 15, 2011. Even if you barely use IE, you should still upgrade, if only for the improved security features.




User Comments: 11

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princeton princeton said:

Mmhmm. Well I think 95% of those malware downloads come from less than 1% of users. Even my oblivious grandmother doesn't get viruses.

treetops treetops said:

This is the second article I read on yahoo news then within 24 hours appeared here in the same week. The other one was practically copy pasted with a few paragraphs cut out. Not trying to accuse you of anything lol. My local news stations do the same thing.

[link]

Guest said:

Well it's obvious isn't it, people who use IE do so 'cause they're too PC-illiterate to download a decent browser.

People how are that PC-illiterate will download any old shish 'cause they're too fool to know how to browse safely.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

tree:

Sites like techspot use 'other' sources to scoop up stories, so I don't see any issue with this, don't expect them have huge budgets / tech. reporters running around to get stories out in the field, that is just not realistic nor possible. What they intend to do is put some perspective in the emerging stories for all of us.

Guest said:

They assume that if you get the warning that the download is malware when in fact it's just that it may have a bad reputation from Microsoft. Try downloading WinSCP and you will get this warning however the software is good and used by many. In general I'm sure the warnings are a good idea even if not always accurate.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Well it's obvious isn't it, people who use IE do so 'cause they're too PC-illiterate to download a decent browser.

People how are that PC-illiterate will download any old shish 'cause they're too fool to know how to browse safely.

What? We're talking about user initialized downloading of software, not visiting sites with viruses/automatic malware installs. The b asis of your comment more or less has nothing to do with the article and is inflammitory. Though, I use Firefox as my main browser and IE as my secondary anyways, AND I myself blame the user for their actions far before the software they use, so why do I care? =p )

tonylukac said:

Yes, thus Microsoft know almost every url you visit with these phishing filters on.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yes tony, exactly in the similar way as Google know about your 'online indulgences' through chrome.

gingerbill said:

Guest said:

Well it's obvious isn't it, people who use IE do so 'cause they're too PC-illiterate to download a decent browser.

People how are that PC-illiterate will download any old shish 'cause they're too fool to know how to browse safely.

err this comment makes no sense and isnt really relevant to the article. Guess you just wanted to show how big and cleer you are . It didnt work and had the opposite affect.

Flannelwarrior said:

My mom has gotten two viruses in the past two months, and my room mate got one earlier today which he has been discribing as "REALLY ADVANCED". I haven't gotten a virus since...2005? Maybe 2004? I don't know how people manage to get viruses so frequently.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Most people get them by being 'ignorant' , remaining ones get them because they don't know or just 'clickaholics'.

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