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Asia-Pacific countries most vulnerable to Malware

8 Jun 2016 | By Mansi Motwani
Malware Infection Index 2016

A study by Microsoft discovered that 4 out of every 10 computers in Asia-Pacific countries are presumably infected with malware.

Four out of the top five nations globally at risk of infection belong to the Asia-Pacific region.

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal stand first, second, fourth and fifth respectively.

Developing countries are more prone to malware as their computers sometimes operate on deceiving software.

In context: Malware Infection Index 2016

MII 2016

On 7th June, 2016 in Singapore, Microsoft Asia announced the launch of its Malware Infection Index 2016. MII 2016 identifies the crucial malware threats in the region and ranks markets in Asia Pacific according to how much it affects their computer systems.

What is Malware?

Malware, short for malicious software, is any software used to disturb computer operations by gathering sensitive information, gaining access to private computer systems, or displaying unwanted advertising.
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How did they do it?

Execution How did they do it?

Microsoft first took control of malware-spreading botnets located in Europe, after which it was able to monitor all devices the botnet spread to around the world

Having that information in hand helped them record 1.4 billiion real-time pings per week from infected computers.

Findings of the index were backed by data from the Microsoft Malware Protection Centre and the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.

Top ThreeMost frequently encountered Malware

As per the security report released by Microsoft, the Gamarue computer worm, and trojans Skeeyah and Peals are the top three most-encountered malware.

Gamarue is a worm which empowers viscious hackers to take control of somebody's PC.

Skeeyah and Peals, trojans that look innocent and deceive users into installing them can steal personal information.

Gamarue was also the third most-encountered malware worldwide in 2015.

Upward graph of malware threats

In the Asia-Pacific region, each country had an average of close to 40% or more computers encountering malware, compared to the global average of only 20.8% in the last quarter of 2015, which also increased from 17.6% in the first quarter of 2015.

Reasons Issues leading to malware infection

Keshav Dhakad, Regional Director, IP & Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Asia summarised common IT environment issues responsible for cyber-crime risks.

According to him, usage, procurement, and maintenance of old, unprotected and non-genuine assets cause hindrances.

Poor cyber hygiene of users and negligent employee behaviour inside companies is also a reason for malware infections.

Another reason is the untimely detection and removal of cyber threats

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Preventing the bugs

Dhakad advised enterprises to opt for genuine, current and updated software and have a strong cyber defence system. "Everything requires different levels of protection - know what data is important, who is accessing the data. Encryption and multifactor authentication are a must", he said.

8 Jun 2016Asia-Pacific countries most vulnerable to Malware