Malware Hits Frequently and Across Platforms

Sue Marquette Poremba

Does it seem like there is a lot of malware out there lately? Well, that's because there is. Microsoft reported that one out of every 14 programs downloaded is Windows malware, and Internet Explorer (IE) blocks between 2 and 5 million attacks for IE8 and IE9 users.

That really is a lot of malware.

An article at PC Magazine stated:

Application Reputation, a security feature of IE9, not only uses URL-based methods to detect sites that could be hiding malware, but also looks at the file itself and determines if others have downloaded it. A newly created file might not be malware, but it could also be, Jeb Haber, the program manager lead for SmartScreen, noted.

American Public Media added that Microsoft claims the bad guys are getting more sneaky about convincing people to upload the malware:

IE8 added another layer of protection, also based on URLs (or Web addresses), to protect users from sites that offered malicious downloads and used social engineering techniques ("Run this to watch movies for free, download this security software to clean your machine, or get great emoticons!") to get users to download and run them. URL-based protection from socially engineered malware attacks is an important layer of defense for consumers today on the Web.

Apple users shouldn't get to smug, however. Mac OS has been hit with a fake anti-virus, MacDefender, and now it appears there is an even more dangerous Apple OS malware, MacGuard.


Yet, while Microsoft recognizes that malware is a problem, Apple doesn't seem ready to make that admission. A ZDNet blog reported:

Apple appears to be treating this outbreak as if it were a single incident that won't be repeated. They seriously underestimate the bad guys, who are not idiots. Peter James, an Intego spokeperson, told me his company's analysts were "impressed by the quality of the original version." The quick response to Apple's move suggests they are capable of churning out new releases at Internet speeds, adapting their software and their tactics as their target-Apple-tries to put up new roadblocks.

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