Windows XP has lower infection rate than Vista and 7

Windows 8 least likely to be infected

Microsoft's bi-annual Security Intelligence Report (SIR) has revealed the Windows 7 and Windows Vista operating systems are more at risk of being infected by malware that Windows XP.

Windows XP computers were prone to infections at a rate of 2.42 per cent, while Windows Vista and Windows 7 had an infection rate of 3.24 per cent and 2.59 per cent, figures from the last quarter of 2013 showed.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 computers are least likely to be infected by malware, with a 1.3 per cent and 0.08 per cent infection rate respectively.

The reason why Windows 7 and Vista are more likely to be affected by malicious software is because of the Rotbrow' malware targeting browsers.

The Rotbrow program pretends to be a browser add-on, supposedly used to protect your computer against malware. However, it then starts downloading malicious browser extensions that can attack your computer and give access to personal details.

The vulnerability was discovered by Microsoft, which then alerted security companies who blocked the extensions.

The Rotbrow malware isn't problem on newer versions of Windows because security improvements in Windows 8 and 8.1 such as ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomisation) and DEP (Data Execution Prevention) mean it's harder to exploit the vulnerability and therefore attackers are less likely to spend time finding the holes and embedding malware.

However, Microsoft's Tim Rains, director of the company's Trustworthy Computing division explained that just because the platforms are harder to crack, it doesn't mean they are safe.

He said attackers are more likely to bundle malware with legitimate programs or music rather than installing it remotely onto computers using vulnerabilities in the operating system itself.

Featured Resources

Become a digital service provider

How to transform your business from network core to edge

Download now

Optimal business results with the cloud

Evaluating the best approaches to hybrid cloud adoption

Download now

Virtualisation that enables choices, not compromises

Harness the virtualisation technology that's right for your hybrid infrastructure

Download now

Email security threat report 2020

Four key trends from spear fishing to credentials theft

Download now

Recommended

How LogPoint uses MITRE ATT&CK
Whitepaper

How LogPoint uses MITRE ATT&CK

15 Jan 2021
Microsoft unveils its new retail-focused cloud service
Cloud

Microsoft unveils its new retail-focused cloud service

14 Jan 2021
Microsoft more than doubles file size limit for SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive
Microsoft Office

Microsoft more than doubles file size limit for SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive

14 Jan 2021
Weekly threat roundup: Microsoft Defender, Adobe, Mimecast
vulnerability

Weekly threat roundup: Microsoft Defender, Adobe, Mimecast

14 Jan 2021

Most Popular

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
The fate of Parler exposes the reality of deregulated social media
Policy & legislation

The fate of Parler exposes the reality of deregulated social media

14 Jan 2021
Should IT departments to call time on WhatsApp?
communications

Should IT departments to call time on WhatsApp?

15 Jan 2021