Computers: South Asia

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Malware Infection Index


The Times of India, Jun 08 2016

Rajshekhar jha

Pak tops in malware infection, India ranks 8th

At least four out of ten computers in Asia-Pacific countries are likely to be infected with malware, a study by Microsoft has found. While Pakistan tops the list of countries figuring in the Malware Infection Index 2016, India ranks 8th on the list. The index, which was released on Tuesday , identifies the key malware threats in the region and ranks markets in Asia-Pacific according to how much they are affected.

The index has also identified the top three most encountered malware as Gamarue, a malicious computer worm that is commonly distributed via exploit kits and social engineering; and Skeeyah and Peals which are trojans that try to look innocent to convince you to install them, the index reveals.

“These malware can steal your personal information, download more malware, or give a malicious hacker access to your PC. The findings are based on data from the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) and the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIRv20),“ said Keshav Dhakad, regional director, IP and digital crimes unit, Microsoft Asia.

Out of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection, a total of four are from the Asia Pacific -Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal, topping the rankings at first, second, fourth and fifth places respectively. The Asia-Pacific region is especially vulnerable with emerging markets most at risk of malware threats, the study has found.

More than forty per cent of computers in the 19 countries in Asia-Pacific region are infected against the global agverage being around 20 per cent, Microsoft has claimed.

In fact, the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting team in April reported the discovery of a group of cybercriminals, dubbed PLATINUM, who have actively been targeting governmental organisations, defense institutes, intelligence agencies, and telecommunication providers in South and Southeast Asia since 2009.

Gamarue is particularly prevalent in the ASEAN region and was the third most commonly encountered malware family worldwide in 2H 2015. Certain heavily affected locations such as Indonesia reported Gamarue encounter rates of over 20 percent in 4Q 2015.

“The rising sophistication and targeted cyberattacks are causing losses of data across all computer and Internet user segments. In fact, it generally takes on average up to 200 days for organisations to find out that they have been victims of cyberattacks,“ Dhakad added.

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