Conficker still dominates while USB-borne threats on the increase

5 Oct 2009

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Win32/Conficker is the most widespread computer threat globally, as confirmed by the September stats compiled from security software player Eset’s early warning system.

Eset’s ThreatSense.Net system, which tabulates malware data from millions of computers, found that in September Conficker accounted for 8.76pc of all threats.

ThreatSense.Net collects anonymous statistical information packets about the types of infiltrations detected on the users’ workstations.

Eset pointed out that Conficker still tops the charts one year after Microsoft began issuing patches to their OS.

As compared to the month of August, the share of threats INF/Autorun ranked second with 7.53pc. Autorun.inf is a feature allowing for automatic execution of files stored on exchangeable media, such as USB devices upon their connection to a PC.

On the contrary, we saw a slight decline when it comes to the occurrence of a mix of trojans targeting online gamers or virtual worlds, such as Second Life. Win32/PSW.OnLineGames has accounted for 6.36pc of all detected threats, which is its second-lowest share since the beginning of this year.

A family of malware commonly referred to as Win32/Agent, known for data stealing, has placed fifth in the ranking, as has INF/Conficker, referring to variants of this worm exploiting the Windows OS autorun.inf function.

The top September infections in Ireland were also the USB-infecting Autorun as well as a range of spyware and adware-related Trojans. Still very prevalent is the WMA/TrojanDownloader.GetCodec, which infects media files so that when they are played, they ask the user to download and install an additional "codec", which in turn is usually spyware. Conficker was only in the 17th place in Ireland.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Win32/Conficker is the most widespread computer threat globally, the September stats compiled from security software player Eset’s early warning system have shown.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com