Report: AV users still get infected with malware

Report: AV users still get infected with malware

Summary: One-third of internet users in the EU caught a computer virus, despite the fact that 84% of internet users used IT security software (anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, etc) for protection.

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According to data released by EUROSTAT, the European Union's statistics agency, one third of internet users in the EU caught a computer virus, despite the fact that 84% of internet users used IT security software (anti-virus, anti-spam or firewall) for protection.

In 2010 in the EU27, a large majority of individuals (84%) who used the internet in the last 12 months stated that they used an IT security software or tool to protect their private computer and data. Among the Member States, more than 90% of internet users in the Netherlands (96%), Luxembourg, Malta and Finland (all 91%) used IT security software, while it was less than two-thirds in Latvia (62%), Romania (64%) and Estonia (65%).

Countries with the most infected users:

  • Bulgaria (58%)
  • Malta (50%)
  • Slovakia (47%)
  • Hungary (46%)
  • Italy (45%)
  • Germany (22%)
  • Finland (20%)
  • Ireland (15%)
  • Austria (14%)

In similar findings accompanying EUROSTAT's data, PandaLabs recently released data indicates that in January, 50 percent of computers worldwide were infected with some type of computer threat, in this case, trojan horse, allowing malicious attackers access to a victim's host as well as to financial data.

50 percent of all computers scanned around the globe in January were infected with some kind of malware. As for the most damaging malware threat, Trojans caused the most incidents (59 percent of all cases), followed by traditional viruses (12 percent) and worms (9 percent). The list of most prevalent malware threats is topped by generic Trojans, followed by downloaders, exploits and adware. It is worth mentioning the presence of Lineage, an old Trojan that continues to spread and infect systems.

Does this mean that security software is ineffective at all? Not necessarily, as it has to do with successful social engineering attacks, even expanding window of opportunity for malicious attackers to take advantage of, by the time their latest "release" gets the (automatic) attention of an antivirus company.

The bottom line? Prevention is always better than the cure.

Correction: The original headline "Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware" to this post was incorrect and has been changed.

Topics: Browser, Government, Government UK, Malware, Security

Dancho Danchev

About Dancho Danchev

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, malware and cybercrime incident response.

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70 comments
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  • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

    Romania (64%) that's a generous low number, me being "the one" that fixes windows computers for friends/relatives (not for free, of course)
    d.marcu
    • And AV is reactive only... never proactive.

      @d.marcu

      You can't add a virus definition for a virus that doesn't exist... So the only thing AV SW can do is be reactive to known virii. It will never protect anyone from the latest threats because the definitions don't exist for those. White listing or freezing is the only protection I know of that is proactive and doable.
      i8thecat
      • Heuristics

        @i8thecat: While this is true to an extent, a good anti-malware program, properly configured, will employ heuristics to detect suspicious activity. So yes, there is protection from undefined threats, albeit not perfect.
        jacobus57
    • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

      @d.marcu <br><br>Being over there, do you see any evidence of the "social engineering" Naraine blames for the high infection rate?<br><br>What I remember from my trips to the FSU is that people were not willing to pay for Norton or McAfee, and were unaware of free alternatives.
      mejohnsn
      • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

        @mejohnsn, because they pay i kind of do a good work there, so i always install free security alternatives, because i know that a pirated antivirus may disable itself if discovered.
        d.marcu
  • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

    An AV isn't meant as front line defense. The one on the front line is the user themselves.<br><br>PEBKAC.


    And no, forcing Linux on people isn't going to change a damn thing. So don't go there.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

      [i]And no, forcing Linux on people isn't going to change a damn thing. So don't go there.[/i]

      Nobody's forcing people to switch to Linux, unlike the force Micro$oft uses through it's sheer monopolistic ubiquity.

      And yes it would change a damm thing so I'm going there.
      LTV10
      • How does Microsoft do this?

        @LTV10: [i]Nobody's forcing people to switch to Linux, unlike the force Micro$oft uses through it's sheer monopolistic ubiquity.[/i]

        Are they pointing a gun to people's heads? How do you explain Apple's growth over the past few years?
        ye
      • I agree LTV10. MS came to my house with lawyers and guns to force me

        @LTV10
        to use Windows. I guess the gun was for backup in the chance I produced my own lawyers to defeat theirs!

        Oh, it wouldn't change a damn thing, the proofs been shown, but you can allways believe what ever you want, as [i]that[/i] won't change a damn thing.
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

        @LTV10 <br>It's the user, not the AV program or O.S., Goober. PC Repair for 17 yrs.
        Alienwilly
      • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

        @LTV10 @LTV10 Actually they are pointing a financial gun at people's wallets. When my customers start regularly sending me .docx files and I have Office 2003, I upgrade or die. Oh, sure, I could tell them to save as a legacy format, but that makes me look lame, even though it's all just text, and there's no damn good reason why 99.99% of all .docx files can't be opened in Word 95.

        Except of course to force the upgrade.

        OpenOffice saves me for now. Web docs are not an option, since I spend over a hundred days a year on a plane.
        doctordawg
      • Or just use the Office Compatibility Pack.

        @doctordawg: [i]Oh, sure, I could tell them to save as a legacy format, but that makes me look lame...[/i]

        No, that would be your ignorance.
        ye
      • Clueless ye...

        ...has been in the basement too long.<br><br>One can easily skate by without ever having touched OSX, but try finding a professional office job anywhere here in the United States and not know how to use windoze. You are forced to learn it by default.<br><br>XP has become as ubiquitous as Xerox machines and paper clips.
        LTV10
      • Office legacy

        @doctordawg
        Have you ever heard of Microsoft's Office Compatibility Pack? This will enable Office 2003 to read/write to Office 2007 formats. And it is free, so don't reach for your wallet on that one.
        kc117mx
      • How cute.

        @LTV10: [i]One can easily skate by without ever having touched OSX, but try finding a professional office job anywhere here in the United States and not know how to use windoze.[/i]

        You used "Windoze" in place of "Windows". One day, when you've reached puberty, you'll see how juvenile that is. Until then...enjoy!
        ye
      • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

        @LTV10

        XP is dead.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Report: 87% of AV users still got infected with malware

        When Linux can run all commercial Windows applications without hacking the OS or the application, then maybe we can consider Linux to be a viable operating system. Otherwise, Linux is a toy OS.
        gypkap@...
      • Lacking applications does not mean an OS is a toy.

        @gypkap@...: [i]When Linux can run all commercial Windows applications without hacking the OS or the application, then maybe we can consider Linux to be a viable operating system. Otherwise, Linux is a toy OS.[/i]

        Linux is a great OS. Not without its flaws but certainly not a toy either.
        ye
      • Well I'm the cutest thing out there, ye

        And I too am forced to use windoze at times.

        Gee, that spelling bugs you a lot, huh? ;)
        search &amp; destroy
      • Not at all.

        @search & destroy: [i]And I too am forced to use windoze at times.

        Gee, that spelling bugs you a lot, huh?[/i]

        I'm just trying to help you, and those like you, join us in the present instead of the 90's when such spelling was original along with the arguments you make against Windows. You think you're being cute. You think you're being clever. You're not. You're being a pathetic fool by using such spelling and no reasonable person would take you seriously by using such spelling.
        ye