Computers with no antivirus are five times more likely to get infected with malware than those with protection, according to Microsoft. In the first quarter of 2012, the company found malicious e-mail attachments on almost 3 million computers and detected 7 million Keygens. The activation key generators that users install with â€œfreeâ€ software, movies or games often come loaded with malware.
Most users donâ€™t have antivirus because the trial period has expired, the software is out of date or it was disabled by malware. Some may also not realize the importance of antivirus so they donâ€™t install it in the first place.
â€œAn antivirus or antimalware product that offers real-time protection is one of the most crucial defenses a computer user has against these and other malware distribution tactics,â€ Microsoft representatives said. â€œUnfortunately, many computers are not protected by real-time antimalware software, either because no such software has been installed, because it has expired, or because it has been disabled intentionally by the user or secretly by malware.â€
The Security Intelligence Report also showed Conficker and Autorun worm infections are declining, but web attacks are on the rise. Infections with the two major worms dropped more than a third compared with the figures from 2011.
â€œIn the last quarter of 2012, a person in the enterprise was more likely to encounter attacks through the Web than any of the network worms,â€ Microsoft senior program manager Holly Stewart told eWEEK.
The paper also showed Blackhole exploits were most common. Six of the top 10 exploits detected in 2012 were components of this exploit kit.
The report analyzed exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware using data from Internet services and over 600 million computers worldwide.