Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 14

Yesterday, Microsoft released volume 14 of its Security Intelligence Report (SIRv14) which included new threat intelligence from over a billion systems worldwide.  The report was focused on the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2012.
One of the most interesting threat trends to surface in the enterprise environment was the decline in network worms and rise of web-based attacks.  The report found:

·         The proportion of Conficker and Autorun threats reported by enterprise computers each decreased by 37% from 2011 to 2H12.
·         In the second half of 2012, 7 out of the top 10 threats affecting enterprises were associated with malicious or compromised websites.
·         Enterprises were more likely to encounter the iFrame redirection technique than any other malware family tracked in 4Q12.
·         One specific iFrame redirection family called IframeRef, increased fivefold in the fourth quarter of 2012 to become the number one malicious technique encountered by enterprises worldwide.   
·         IframeRef was detected nearly 3.3 million times in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The report also takes a close look at the dangers of not using up-to-date antivirus software in an article titled “Measuring the Benefits of Real-time Security Software.”  New research showed that, on average, computers without AV protection were five and a half times more likely to be infected

The study also found that 2.5 out of 10, or an estimated 270 million computers worldwide were not protected by up-to-date antivirus software

Whilst many of the findings surrounding real-time protection seem pretty obvious, the numbers are pretty startling.  As security is often best implemented using a strength-in-depth, or rings approach, anti-virus or real time malware detection seems to be taking a back seat.  For mobile devices, or devices based on Linux this can become a significant issue, especially if those devices carry email destined for Microsoft based machines.

By Simon Moffatt