One in fourteen Internet downloads is Windows malware

Summary:Microsoft admits that one in fourteen downloads are Windows malware. And you thought the Mac having malware trouble was news!

Yes. It's true. For the first time, Mac users have a significant malware problem. But, hey, it could be worse. You could be running Windows. After all, Microsoft, not some third-party anti-virus company trying to drum up business, has just admitted that based on analysis gained from IE 9 use, "1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware."

If I may quote from Matthew 7:5, the King James Bible, "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Window PCs has far, far more malware trouble than Macs, and I can't resist mentioning that after in twenty-years of Linux, we've not seen a real-world example of Linux malware--not counting the Android malware mess. Ironically, these latest appalling Windows malware numbers are shared in a Microsoft blog about how well SmartScreen Application Reputation is working in IE9.

While it's true that SmartScreen in IE9 is doing excellent work in protecting Windows users form Internet-borne malware, it leads to other questions. The biggest, to my mind, is that, since Microsoft proudly boasts that IE9's new "Application Reputation will prevent more than 20 Million additional infections per month (on top of existing SmartScreen URL reputation blocks)," why doesn't Microsoft offer IE9 to its XP users?

I mean Microsoft just said that there's an incredible amount of Windows malware out there on the Internet. Seriously Microsoft, instead of spending money of ads trying to con... convince people to shell out hard earned cash for new Windows PCs, why not port IE9 to XP. According to the April 2011 average of the various sites that measures client operating systems on the Web, Windows XP has 39.11% of the market while Windows 7 only has 28.5%. Would it really be that much trouble-any trouble?--to deliver better Internet security to the majority of your customers?

In the meantime, no matter what operating system you run, and yes that includes Macs and Linux, you need to take anti-virus software and malicious Web sites seriously. Android users, for example, can't get 99.9999% of the malware out there, but their Google application sessions can still be spied on and if you're not securing your network sessions, it doesn't matter what you're running, your Web sessions can still be hi-jacked with Firesheep.

Sure, Windows, with or without IE9 has more security problems than all the other operating systems rolled together, but today network insecurity is everyone's problem.

Related Stories:

An AppleCare support rep talks: Mac malware is "getting worse"

What a Mac malware attack looks like

Android has a gaping network security hole

AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

Topics: Browser, Malware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Security, Software, Windows

About

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

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