Viruses making a Comeback according to Microsoft Security Report

Just when you thought Viruses where on the way out, it looks like they may be raising their ugly head yet again. According to Microsoft, virus global detection rate hit 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2012 with some nations reaching over 40%.

With the increase of Trojans and credential stealers, many thought we had seen the last days of old fashioned file infecting viruses. But Tim Rain, Microsoft’s Director of Trustworthy Computing, says that it looks like Virus use is again trending upwards, with some locations being hit harder than others:

“Locations with high levels of Viruses included Pakistan (Viruses found on 44% of systems with detections), Indonesia (40%), Ethiopia (40%), Bangladesh (38%), Somalia (37%), Egypt (36%), and Afghanistan (35%).  Looking at this list of locations it seems that most of these places don’t have the same levels of Internet connectivity/bandwidth that locations in North America and Europe have.”

And one virus seems to stand above the rest – Win32/Sality, a polymorphic file infector. According to Microsoft, Sality was detected on over 8 Million Windows XP machines in 2012. The virus was not as effective against Microsoft’s newer operating systems.

Just a reminder to keep your systems and anti-virus program up to date and if your company is still running Windows XP, it is really time to move on to Windows 7 at least. Windows 7 has several security enhancements making it inherently more secure against online threats as compared to the aging XP.

For more information check out the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.