to a new 240-page security report from Microsoft dubbed the Security
Intelligence Report, America is among the most infected countries
in the world when it comes to botnets. The report uses
information collected in the first half of 2010 via the Microsoft
Malicious Software Removal Tool.Over 2.2 million PCs in
the U.S. are infected with a virus that makes them part of one of the
internet's massive botnets. The term "botnet" refers
to a group of connected computers that can be used for ill purposes
such as spamming, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and
mass credit card fraud.Brazil came in second place for most
infected computers, with 550,000 botnet-infected PCs. Per
computer population, though South Korea had the highest rate (though
its total number of infected machines is lower than that of the U.S.
or Brazil). In South Korea 14.6 out of 1,000 PCs are in a
botnet, versus 5.2 computers out of 1,000 in the U.S.Cliff
Evans, head of security and identity at Microsoft UK, comments to BBC
"Most people have this idea of a virus and how it used to
announce itself. Few people know about botnets."Fewer
people perhaps know about Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool
(MRT). MRT has been is a free tool Microsoft includes with
Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. First released in
2005, the tool is easy to run -- just go to "Start", type
"run" in the search bar, and then type "mrt"
(case insensitive) in the resulting popup. The tool will then
activate and be ready to scan your computer and remove many common
types of malware.Perhaps if everyone learns how to use the
MRT, America can escape earning the dubious distinction of being the
world's biggest botnet participant in 2011. Given the general
of security, that seems unlikely, though.Despite the
difficulty in getting the public to practice proper security,
Microsoft is taking steps to try to win the war against botnet
masters on its own. The company recently seized
control over 276 internet domains that were being used by
botnet owners. And it has beefed
up the securityof its most recent operating system, Windows 7,
making it harder to infect new PCs.
quote: Oh, and Macs are completely infallible... i assure you they are not.
quote: i don't mind mac but i'm left wondering why it is that you care so much?
quote: I combine things in the following way under Windows XP/Vista/7...=> MSE + Limited/Standard User + SRP or Applocker or Parental Controls + EMET 2.0(1) MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials)=> Scans files locally.=> Might want to scan files manually via http://www.virustotal.com/ instead. (As that uses multiple AV engines...But has a 20MB file size limit.)(2) Limited or Standard User=> Can't write into Windows + Program Files directories unless you provide Administrator password.=> Make sure you password the default Administrator level account!=> Greatly reduce malware that needs Administrator privileges.(3) SRP or Applocker or Parental Controls=> SRP = Software Restriction Policy=> These three allow one to create a whitelist for the Limited or Standard User.=> Whitelist = "deny everything by default, except the legit apps I allow!"=> Combined with (2) causes a Catch-22 situation for malware! (Can't run! Can't infect!)=> Special note! Parental Controls is a lite version of SRP. It won't help with DLL injection-type malware!=> You may want to use this as an alternative to Parental Controls: http://blog.didierstevens.com/programs/ariad/(4) EMET 2.0=> EMET = Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit=> "Hardens" apps like Adobe Reader or web-side apps like IE, Firefox, etc.=> Get it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/e...0-362559fd2...=> Requires .Net 2.0 framework (You can install .Net 3.5 framework instead.)Of course, one still needs to hammer in on the issue of getting your software from legit sources (not hacked/cracked from P2P, Warez, Usenet, etc) and ignoring everything else. As well as keeping the system up-to-date. (Subscribe to MS's Security Bulletin mailinglist.)Anyway, that's how I "secure" various Windows desktop systems I'm responsible for. The good news is that all the above are free! :) (I use a mixed Windows/Linux environment. Linux for servers, network security via PacketFence, and specific workstations roles.)
quote: Macs are less fallible than Windows PCs
quote: "god like"
quote: I care because it pains me to see so many people trapped in the tortured madhouse that is Windows computing.
quote: Any system that requires the following to work safely
quote: I repeat - Windows is the platform getting infected all the time - why do you put up with it?
quote: because i use my computer for more than just surfing the web and playing with art programs....