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‫ Malware infections tripled in late 2013, Microsoft finds

Number:IRCNE2014052188
Date: 2014-05-11

According to “computerworld”, a three-fold increase in Microsoft Windows computers infected with malicious software in late 2013 came from an application that was for some time classified as harmless by security companies.

The finding comes as part of Microsoft's latest biannual Security Intelligence Report (SIR), released on Wednesday, which studies security issues encountered by more than 800 million computers using its security tools.

In the third quarter of 2013, an average of 5.8 Windows computers out of every 1,000 were infected with malware, said Tim Rains, director of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing division, which tracks security trends targeting the company's widely used products. That jumped to about 17 computers per 1,000 for the last quarter of the year.

Rains attributed the rise to malware called "Rotbrow."

For some time, computer security companies didn't classify Rotbrow as malicious software. Rotbrow is known as a "dropper," with capabilities to download other software on a computer.

But then Rotbrow started downloading malicious browser extensions. Microsoft noticed the change and alerted other security companies, which then began blocking it.

Microsoft added detection for Rotbrow in its Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) last December after it raised suspicion.

The report also said the number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft products that can be remotely exploited has fallen by 70 percent between 2010 and 2013.

The latest report does not include data on the zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer that Microsoft released an emergency patch for on Monday. The flaw, which affects IE 6 through IE 11, could allow attackers to execute code remotely on a compromised computer if the user views an infected web page using the browser.



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