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Microsoft’s Releases New Report Of Cyber Security Risks Of Unsupported Software


Microsoft  released its Security Intelligence Report volume 15, which analyzes threat intelligence from over a billion systems worldwide to provide in-depth perspectives on exploits, vulnerabilities and malware to help customers manage risk.

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Among other intelligence, the report examines the security risk that consumers and businesses face when using unsupported operating systems and software and looks at the implications of using Windows XP once support, including security updates, ends on April 8, 2014.

For the Windows XP some of the top threats include:

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  • Sality – Malware family that can steal your personal information and lower your PC security settings
  • Ramit – Malware that infects Windows executable files, Microsoft Office files, and HTML files.
  • Vobfus – Family of worms that can download other malware onto your PC; can be downloaded by other malware or spread via removable drives, such as USB flash drives.

Apart from this there others that are prevalent in Kenya, they include; Autorun a family of worms, which spread by copying itself to networks or removable drives of infected computers, this takes about 4.9 percent of the ‘infections’; Comame, which is a collection of all Trojan detections added by advanced automated analysis, and covers 5.5 percent and Comroki, which consisted of Trojans and can gain an authorized remote access to your PC, try to spread using autorun functionality, run applications without your knowledge or concent and disable your security products.

In the first half of 2013, about 17 percent of computers running Microsoft up-to-date real-time security products worldwide encountered malware. While Windows 8 encountered a similar amount of malware as Windows XP, people using Windows XP were six times more likely to actually be infected with those threats.

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“The data helps illustrate the impact security innovations in newer operating systems are having. Modern operating systems, like Windows 8, include advanced security technologies that are specifically designed to make it harder, more complex, more expensive, and, therefore less appealing for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities.” says Kunle Awosika, Country Manager, Microsoft Kenya.

He added that once Windows XP stops receiving security updates on April 8, 2014, security risks associated with continuing to use the outdated software will increase as cybercriminals seek to exploit new vulnerabilities discovered. The last version of Windows XP to go out of support was Service Pack 2. In the two years following, malware infections jumped 66 percent when compared to Windows XP SP3, the version for which support ends next year.

“The importance of upgrading from Windows XP cannot be overstated,” said Kunle. “We truly want people to understand the risks of running Windows XP after support ends and to recognize the security benefits of upgrading to more modern operating system – one that includes the latest in security innovations, provides ongoing support and can in turn better protect them.”

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Caroline Vutagwa
Caroline Vutagwa
Minding my own business is not enough for me that's why you will always find me minding Africa's Businesses as well as Technology and of course letting you know about it. Talk to me on [email protected]

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