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Viruses found on 'protected' PCs

05 April 2013, 11:44 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - A significant number of viruses and malware exists on computers, even they are protected by antivirus software, a security company has asserted.

According to research by Kaspersky Lab, malware was found on computers running antivirus solutions on around 5% of computers.

"The data, from early 2013, was anonymously provided by users who had installed Kaspersky Security Scan on their computers. Analysis showed that although security solutions were installed on some of the infected computers, they were unable to ensure total protection," Kaspersky said.

The survey automatically excluded security software that was not updated with the latest definitions and case where the malicious software was already identified and quarantined were also excluded.

"The final selection only included computers where malicious files were detected in critical OS folders, such as Windows, Programme Files, Documents and Settings," Kaspersky said.

Infection rates

The company refused to divulge then names of the security products, saying that it intended the survey to be constructive and the companies were notified following the research.

"We hope that the vendors notified by us will be able to release prompt updates to eliminate threats to their clients' security. In addition, we expect that other security vendors will uncover possible shortcomings in their competitors’ products and encourage an equal exchange of such information," said Oleg Ishanov, director of Anti-Malware Research at Kaspersky Lab.

The highest infection rates for computers with updated database were found in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, India and Egypt with a rate of over 10%.

An infection rate in the survey of lower than 3% was found in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Beyond being a nuisance, malware could be used to steal personal user information stored on a PC as well using the machine as part of a botnet to attack and extort money from corporations.

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