Microsoft: Bot, Trojan Infections High; Rootkits Low

New statistics from Microsoft’s antimalware engineering team have confirmed fears that backdoor Trojans and bots present a “significant” threat to Windows users.

However, according to data culled from the software maker’s security tools, stealth rootkit infections are on the decrease, perhaps due to the addition of antirootkit capabilities in security applications.

For more on security, see Field Report: Security in the World of Web 2.0

The latest malware infection data, released at the RSA Europe conference in Nice, France, covers the first half of 2006. During that period, Microsoft found more than 43,000 new variants of bots and backdoor Trojans that control millions of hijacked Windows machines in for-profit botnets.

Of the 4 million computers cleaned by the company’s MSRT (malicious software removal tool), about 50 percent (2 million) contained at least one backdoor Trojan. While this is a high percentage, Microsoft notes that this is a decrease from the second half of 2005. During that period, the MSRT data showed that 68 percent of machines cleaned by the tool contained a backdoor Trojan.

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