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US Reigns As Most Bot-Infected Country

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we're-number-one dept.

Botnet 121

Trailrunner7 writes "The US has by far the highest number of bot-infected computers of any country in the world, with nearly four times as many infected PCs as the country in second place, Brazil, according to a new report by Microsoft. The quarterly report on malicious software and Internet attacks shows that while some of the major botnets have been curtailed in recent months, the networks of infected PCs still represent a huge threat."

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121 comments

Microsoft Did the Report? (1, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888420)

I'm sure they failed to mention the OS with which most infected computers are running. :p

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (4, Informative)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888430)

I take that back. Not only do they report which OS, but claim their count by how many computers their malicious software tool has cleaned. lol

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (3, Interesting)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889002)

  Which is only a small fraction of the real infections out there. I've cleaned thousands of infected computers since MS introduced that tool, and I've yet to see one which the tool dealt with adequately.

  (Don't bother to say "Yeah, but if it dealt with it, you wouldn't see the computer!" If they really believed that tool was effective, then Microsoft wouldn't include the warning "you don't appear to have an antivirus solution installed" in their security center warning, now, would they?)

SB

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889742)

Antivirus typically contains active monitoring preventing further infection of a flagged virus. MRT is no substitute for that. Probably it's not even a substitute for passive-scanning AV either, or it would take hours to run. I think it's more intended as an emergency tool to clean up widespread overnight threats, like Blaster, or for dangerous infections like keyloggers.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890008)

  I think it's more intended as an emergency tool to clean up widespread overnight threats, like Blaster, or for dangerous infections like keyloggers.

  Come on, now. Microsoft surely has the resources to write the best antivirus/anti-rootkit/anti-malware solutions for their own code.

  At the very least they could work with the community to close the holes they already have, and to develop better solutions to detection and mitigation.

  They rarely do (I know some will say that they do. If so, then why are there so many free and much more effective antivirus solutions offered by third parties? Why are there so many free and effective rootkit removal tools available - that actually WORK? I could go on and on... )

  The Emperor has no clothes.

SB

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33890228)

I don't know what you're getting at. It sounds like you haven't heard of Defender [wikipedia.org] or MSE [wikipedia.org] , the latter of which is the best Windows AV solution currently available. Before that it was NOD32. MSE isn't best because Microsoft is great or anything, but because the AV industry is terrible at writing software, and because, as you pointed out, Microsoft is in the best position to develop an anti-virus product for Windows due to their close knowledge.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890312)

but because the AV industry is terrible at writing software,

  Oh, an astroturfer. What fun ;=)

  The solutions I use are what have proven to me to work in the field.

  Neither Defender nor the Microsoft Security Essentials do. I go with what works; what fixes the problems for my customers. That is how I make a living. My customers don't care to pay high dollars for to fix their problems; they aren't "business" accounts.

  Microsoft is in the best position to develop an anti-virus product for Windows due to their close knowledge.

  Jeez, I think I said that. Then perhaps they should fix their own operating system; or, at the least, provide solutions for customers who buy their operating system to do so, at no charge - they sold a product, then support it.

  Since they have not, it has fallen on third party vendors and outside technicians to do it for them.

  My sincere apologies if I refuse to bleed for them.

SB

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33890454)

Oh, an astroturfer. What fun ;=)

Yeah. Whatever. You can search for previous AV topics on /. and find a 90% consenting opinion that MSE is better than anything else. That is, if they don't go with nothing, because they're all basically crap.

I already said that NOD32 was nearly as good as MSE, and there are one or two others that compare relatively well (depending on your definition of relative).

Neither Defender nor the Microsoft Security Essentials do. I go with what works; what fixes the problems for my customers. That is how I make a living. My customers don't care to pay high dollars for to fix their problems; they aren't "business" accounts.

Well gee, since you provided such an exhaustive analysis of MSE in comparison to the other AVs, I'm finding it hard to respond.

Jeez, I think I said that.

I think you need to look at what I wrote again, because I clearly said that it was you who wrote it.

Then perhaps they should fix their own operating system.

Anti-virus products exist even on locked-down, virtualized devices like Android phones. It can't be "fixed." Many more holes and flaws can be quashed, but anti-virus will always remain while the user has control of the operating system.

or, at the least, provide solutions for customers who buy their operating system to do so, at no charge - they sold a product, then support it.

I'm getting the feeling that you haven't even tested MSE, because it IS free.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (2, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890738)

MSE is free, available on every OS back to XP and as from my personal experience and research actually works. They're certainly far better than any other free AV solution available and I've seen it pick up stuff which broke Norton, all without requiring an extra core just to run your AV program.

Not sure what the heck you mean about business accounts or high dollars since the app is free.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (1)

CrossChris (806549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890408)

Come on, now. Microsoft surely has the resources to write the best antivirus/anti-rootkit/anti-malware solutions for their own code.

Nope. MS don't even understand the internals of their own NT kernel. There is no hope whatsoever of MS making "their" code secure - it just can't be done. Their only hope is to ditch all their products and start again - probably with a BSD or Linux core - and forget compatibility with their existing codebase.

Game over, Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889984)

No kidding. And every last one of them, I'd imagine, is running some form of Windows. It's actually quite scary. The fact that MS can spin this good for themselves and people buy it? Even scarier.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890126)

Which is only a small fraction of the real infections out there.

Indeed. But what the submission doesn't mention is that while the US may indeed have four times the number of bots of its nearest "rival", it also very likely has four times as many computers in total. In other words, a fairly pointless non-statistic.

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890334)

  All statistics are pointless; because the numbers depend on who compiles them. Which is a small part of what I was trying to point out. ;-)

SB

Re:Microsoft Did the Report? (0, Offtopic)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890360)

...and many more computers running Microsoft products, as well.

  I'll probably catch hell for this here, but here's an example of programming stupidity that has irked me for a while, and I ran into when I tried to "friend" you (so that I'd see your posts, the whole reason for the "friend" modifier in the first place):

  You have over 200 friends and foes at the moment.

  Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!!

  I know it's an arbitrary number... but I haven't been able to friend/foe anyone for about five years now, because of that arbitrary limit.

  Note to Jamie: This is ridiculous. I know it's just a basic database limit, is there some reason you guys haven't upped this yet?

SB

ALL RIGHT !! USA NUMBER 1 USA! USA! USA! USA! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888462)

Eat that China. You suck!

Re:ALL RIGHT !! USA NUMBER 1 USA! USA! USA! USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889010)

YEAHH FAILmerica is teh ROCKXORKZ!!!

Re:ALL RIGHT !! USA NUMBER 1 USA! USA! USA! USA! (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890234)

Not so fast. Looks like the main sources of data are MS security tools like Windows Defender, MSRT, Microsoft Security Essentials etc which are available only if you have a licenced copy of Windows. As far as I know there is no such thing as a legal copy of Windows in China.

Re:ALL RIGHT !! USA NUMBER 1 USA! USA! USA! USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33891820)

Wrong. All the tools are available for a copy of windows that passes the "genuine advantage" check, which practically all available pirated versions do.
This is due to the grub-based loader which boots a vista/win7 box while emulating certain OEM code values in the bios, making the OS indistinguishable from a legit OEM copy.

We're Number 1!!! (0, Redundant)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888470)

USA! USA! USA!

Re:We're Number 1!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888610)

Don't forget, the USA has a lot of niggers and a whole lot of spics. Therefore of course we are number one at a maladaptive score!

Re:We're Number 1!!! (0, Flamebait)

HaKKa (1273700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889004)

fuck REALLY! nice to see you got internets running to your trailer. that is how you rednecks say it right?, internets f'n losser

Re:We're Number 1!!! (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889034)

You know, you trolls are starting to piss me off. You know here in the USA we got TONS of other races yet all you say is "nigger nigger nigger" and "spic spic spic" and that is....well it just ain't fair! I mean sure, you throw in the occasional Jew, but what about us Micks? I haven't heard a decent Irish insult in ages! And where is the Italian and Native American jokes? This used to be a site with top notch trolls, trolls that really went that extra mile. THREE PAGE ass rape trolls written in the style of a Harlequin romance, or HUGE vulgar ASCII layouts that took real artistic ability. Now you just say "nigger" and think you have written a quality troll, it is just sad I tell ya. I'm sure the great trolls are hanging their heads under their bridges in shame.

As for TFA, before we get all those lame "ban windblowz LOL!" lame bits, as a PC repair guy that actually has to deal with these on a day to day basis? The OS is fine, has been since XP Sp2 as a matter of fact, it is the dumb as shit users that ruin everything! I don't know how many times I tell them "don't just download and run random shit from the Internet" or "Don't go opening email attachments or clicking links sent to you by people you don't even know" but do they listen? hell no! At least with Vista and 7 the new security features help somewhat to protect the OS from the PEBKAC, but I can tell you the two biggest sources of infection are 1.-people purposely installing malware because it came with some "free app" they wanted or a web page said "ZOMG! you got teh Viruzz" even though they have a working AV (which I swear I have seen them turn off because some app they are trying to install told them to) and 2.- Adobe Reader bullshit.

Linux or any other FLOSS would NOT magically fix that kind of stupid my friends, Lord I wish it would but it simply won't. These same folks if you stuck them on Linux would happily pass their root password to any and every app without a second thought, they simply don't give ANY thought at all. You'd think I'd be happy about this, but it makes me feel like the cave painter in "History of the World: Part 1" who has his masterpiece pissed on. I get enough work from referrals I'm actually very happy when someone follow basic best practices and doesn't need to bring me their machine all the time. But as TFA shows, for every 1 of those there are 10,000 that would give you their password for a cookie. it is just fricking sad man, just fricking sad.

Re:We're Number 1!!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33890516)

I haven't heard a decent Irish insult in ages!.

I'll speak more slowly then.

I read the TFA (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888478)

But after a short glance I still couldn't see if this is a "per computer" basis for the country or simply a "total pwned" basis.

Re:I read the TFA (5, Informative)

Unoriginal Nick (620805) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888506)

The US is most in absolute numbers. In rate per 1000, Turkey [microsoft.com] has the highest rate.

Re:I read the TFA (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890022)

Numbers that haven't been normalized are terribly uninformative. I'm sure that per 1000 isn't the best way of doing it, however it's a lot more useful than going with the gross number. Especially since the US is the 3rd largest nation by population behind India and China with Indonesia right behind us.

It would be almost impossible for us to ever be behind a nation like Switzerland which is substantially smaller than us, regardless of policies in place. Given that we've probably got more computers infected than they have computers period.

Re:I read the TFA (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890392)

      There's the point about licensed copies of Windows involved made elsewhere in the thread, but besides the absolute count vs. rate point, the impression given is that a large number of bot activity emanate from US computers compared to other countries.

      There is other bot activity such as generating email or probing networks to infect other computers that I don't see, but I can tell you it isn't forum board spamming coming in large numbers from US computers. It comes from former USSR, China, and Brazil in quite predominant numbers.

      But then again, we're back to the legal/illegal copies of Windows and what appears to be Microsoft counting large numbers of legal copies of Windows in the US compared to other countries.

      I've seen this reported about relatively large numbers of US bots repeatedly and I just don't see that in my web logs over last eight years. Actually the honey pot IP address collectors would be much more accurate sources of this data in my opinion. This particular source and method from Microsoft is, in the words of several posters here, next to worthless.

      If the honey pot collectors are also saying that relatively large numbers of bot type activity is coming from US IP addresses compared to other countries such as former USSR and China, then I would have a hard time understanding it. I would have to look at the data, because I haven't seen that in my experience.

  rd

Re:I read the TFA (5, Informative)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888560)

The actual Microsoft report has a map [microsoft.com] that is far more informative than the article itself. As expected, Brazil has a higher infection rate than the US, with the US only leading by gross number of infections. Of course, this data is just number of infections detected and cleaned- it isn't necessarily a complete survey. From the site where the map is given:

Figure 15 [the map] shows the infection rates in locations around the world using a metric called computers cleaned per thousand, or CCM, which represents the number of reported computers cleaned for every 1,000 executions of the MSRT.

The actual site is here [microsoft.com] if you want to get straight to the information (link is also given in the article).

Re:I read the TFA (1)

hipwah (1920094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888742)

They gave a child crayons to colour in this map. I don't believe it, I imagine they are seeking support for world domination, oh wait...

Re:I read the TFA (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888826)

You know what's insightful on that map? You see white spots. And then map those over real countries. Bang! There's North Korea, the most internet-free, Microsoft-free, infection-free country in the world! Also Sudan and Iran. Interesting...

Re:I read the TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889106)

White just means "Insufficient data" - Green would be "no infection".

Re:I read the TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889654)

Without Windows PCs, how would they get the data?

Re:I read the TFA (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889472)

It needs to be noted that Brazil has a much higher rate of use of Linux than the USA. It is certainly high enough to skew these statistics and might be high enough that, if it were taken into account, would cause Brazil to fall out of worst place.

Of course there is the notoriously difficult problem of assessing how many persons are using Linux, so there is probably no way to estimate the penetration of malware in all computers in use.

Re:I read the TFA (0, Offtopic)

Jaime2 (824950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888646)

Yep, "total infections" is as poor a number as "most stolen car". Sure, a Honda Civic is the most stolen car, but that's because it is the most popular car and does nothing to describe either the effectiveness of the loss-prevention the habits of Honda Civic drivers or how likely your Honda Civic is to be stolen. It doesn't even help you choose a new car, it's likely that the most theft-proof car is somewhere in the middle of the list because it is a high value target (otherwise why would the manufacturer invest so much in anti-theft technology) but theives tend to shy away from it (except the more sophisticated ones). BTW, the Cadillac Escalade is the "most likely to be stolen" car, and it isn't in the top ten most stolen cars. "Most stolen car" is probably most highly correlated to "most likely car to be owned by someone living in a high-crime neighborhood". "total infections" is probably highly correlated to "most hours spent on-line".

Re:I read the TFA (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889604)

You had a good point and then went way off on a tangent.

Re:I read the TFA (1)

Jaime2 (824950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890164)

But how much juice does this topic really have? If somebody doesn't get us off on an interesting tangent, this thread will become nothing but a series of "Windoze" and tounge-in-cheek "Go USA" jokes.

Re:I read the TFA (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890054)

From the point of view of a site under DDoS originated from a botnet, I don't think the "relative percentage of zombies to the total number of computers in a certain country" matters too much - a pwned computer is a pwned computer no matter if it is "one in two" or "one in 1000".

I Blame WindowBUYTIXNOW4SALE (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888486)

I blame Window#BUY TIX NOW 4 SALE only $19,99 in America dollar! Extra fine speci4l sauce extra.

You give gold, please.

Scraping the bottom here (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888490)

At least throw in some off-the-wall super-twisted headline. How's a post like this supposed to generate views and comments other than tired old rants like this?

Quick Question (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888504)

How many computers total are in the US compared to other countries of the world?

Simple counts don't cut it in the real world of statistics.

I bet 100% of Canadian computers could be infected and we still might not beat out the US. Considering the Population of California alone is greater than our national population (or at least it was last time I checked).

Re:Quick Question (-1)

master0ne (655374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888574)

you might want to include who "out national population" is as not being canadian, i read this as "the population of california alone is greater than the population of the united states" which makes NO sense. I assume from your suggestion about 100% of canadian computers being infected implys you are Canadian, but it does not read that way. Thanks!

Re:Quick Question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888664)

I bet 100% of Canadian computers could be infected and we still might not beat out the US

Why didn't that sentence confuse you?

Re:Quick Question (1)

aliddell (1716018) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888718)

You might want to reread OP and think about what you just said. There might be some very basic between-the-lines, but I bet a good solid second glance would clear it all up for you.

Re:Quick Question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889194)

Having a problem with complex thoughts expressed in two sentences, are we?

this (3, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888588)

Exactly. Here [microsoft.com] are Microsoft's statistics after computer prevalence is taken into account. Quote from that page:

Among locations with more than 200,000 executions of the MSRT in 2Q10, Turkey had the highest infection rate, with 36.6 computers cleaned for every 1,000 MSRT executions (CCM 36.6). Following Turkey were Spain (35.7), Korea (34.4), Taiwan (33.5), and Brazil (25.8). All have been among the locations with the highest infection rates for several periods.

Locations with the lowest infection rates include Belarus (1.3), Bangladesh (1.5), Sri Lanka (1.8), Tunisia (1.8), and Morocco (1.9).

Given the very low infection rate of most of Africa, though, something tells me Microsoft's "CCM" metric may not perfectly reflect real infection rates.

Re:this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889216)

1) The highest country had only a 3.66% detected infection rate. I think this really shows how ineffective the malware removal tool is. Judging by the non IT run computers that I come in contact with, approximately 100% are filled to the brim with toolbars, random processes, and odd start up programs. 2) Africa's number is only so low because you can't cure AIDS.

Re:this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889236)

Given the very low infection rate of most of Africa, though, something tells me Microsoft's "CCM" metric may not perfectly reflect real infection rates.

That's because Africa is famous for Ubuntu.

Re:Quick Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888632)

I agree that a more interesting figure is per-capita infection.

And you could refine it just a little more and get per-installation infection rate. The US is a wealthy and populous country, so its pretty natural that there would be a lot of computer users here.

And then probably there are more Windows users here due to the wealth thing again. (More viruses on Windows.) I don't think its so much because Windows is costlier (it can be pirated), than that the US had a large number of Windows users in the 90s, compared to say... India, a country just getting serious about computing. So Windows became entrenched before a lot of other viable O/S options became available.

Re:Quick Question (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890034)

I'm not sure that's true. In China they don't pay for licensed copies of Windows. It's been so bad that MS has had to introduce a cut cost version for the Chinese market. Makes me wonder why on Earth we have to pay the full cost when other nations get the same product for basically nothing.

For years before he stopped being CEO, Bill Gates was obsessed with getting the Chinese to pay for Windows.

Re:Quick Question (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888740)

Simple counts don't cut it in the real world of statistics.

Huh? It entirely depends on what the statistics are being used for. Simple counts are useful when the amount of activity is proportional to the population size.

For example, with a botnet, it's the absolute number of bots that matters, because the bots in a botnet are interchangeable (it doesn't matter where they're located, or what processor they're running, etc).

So if you're going to propose botnet solutions on a per country basis, then you want to know which country has the greatest number of active bots, not the country which has the greatest percentage of infectected computers.

Re:Quick Question (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889198)

So if you're going to propose botnet solutions on a per country basis, then you want to know which country has the greatest number of active bots, not the country which has the greatest percentage of infectected computers.

Um, no. That only works if your "solution" is to sever the affected country from access to the internet. Otherwise you still care more about percentages, because as the percentage level decreases your efforts to combat the problem quickly run afoul of the diminishing returns.

Re:Quick Question (1)

SkeeZerD (972760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889406)

Isn't Canada just another state? I thought canadians were just americans trapped under the maple leaf.

Re:Quick Question (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890072)

How many computers total are in the US compared to other countries of the world?

If your site is under attack from a botnet, do you care much if a zombie is Canadian or in US?

Re:Quick Question (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890538)

How many computers total are in the US compared to other countries of the world?

If your site is under attack from a botnet, do you care much if a zombie is Canadian or in US?

Well, I much prefer the overly polite Canadian zombies, myself....

Cyber Defense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888536)

Our Federal Department of Cyber Defense is as effective as tepid jello against spammers and spambots.

Re:Cyber Defense (2, Funny)

ThePawArmy (952965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888550)

Hmmm tepid jello....

Re:Cyber Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888644)

Now *there's* a fetish!

True measure (4, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888552)

This report is not a good measure of anything. It only counts botnets cleaned by Microsoft's program, and it doesn't talk about infections per capita. It measures nothing, and is pretty close to useless. Yay. Okay, that's not totally fair - there is useful information in it. But the article has very little of that information, and the summary has none of it. Now, yay.

Numbers... (3, Insightful)

citoxE (1799926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888590)

The reason more Americans are infected is because of the sheer amount of computers we have. As others have noted, it's really the percentage per 1000 that are infected that really count. I would bet that most people nowadays have more than one PC in their home, so the statistics are skewed if no one is playing by the same rules.

Re:Numbers... (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888850)

How about those of us running multiple VM's on a single box? I'm sure that skew is being ignored, too :-P

Re:Numbers... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888944)

percentage per 1000

Idiot

Re:Numbers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889084)

Yes, also helps that Americans are becoming more retarded day after day so they will even pay to hit the monkey and buy a suscription to Antivirus 2010 or buy v1agr4 or send money to a nigerian prince.

news spin 101: "zomfgbbq we have more computors so we got moar virii lolololololo oh look a Cialix email!"

FAILmericans make malware industry profitable. News at 11

IT staff (2, Interesting)

NetNed (955141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888596)

Could it be from the down playing of hiring a proper IT staff that actually knows what they are doing, or paying a professional that knows how to properly remove and repair things? Sure most reading this know to run scans of up to date tools to remove infections on PC's, but in my experience most put up with it till performance is to the point of crippling the PC or network. Then a outside IT is called in and sometimes is treated like they are somehow to blame for the issues they are experiencing and try and use that as an excuse for not hiring a real IT person that actually knows what security is about. Of course this is for smaller sized business, but I have seen things as stupid as this in larger sized companies that think they are really saving something by having a secretary or high school kid run their network.

Re:IT staff (3, Informative)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889202)

It's clear from my experience that you need a competent IT staff to run a network of Microsoft machines.

It's also clear from my experience that a reasonably intelligent group of Mac users do NOT need the same level of help. That's not to say they never need "professional experience," rather to point out that a single trained Mac IT support person takes care of a LOT more installations than a trained Windows IT support person. In the company I used to work for, I think that number was about 25-1; there were 2 Mac people supporting an installed Mac user base of several hundred in a department of, I don't know, 25-50 maybe for a Windows installed base of several thousand. Now some of those people did servers, routers, etc, and not just desktops.

Running a server, whether Windows, Mac OS X Server or Linux, requires a deeper level of training, experience and time investment.

Re:IT staff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889758)

rather to point out that a single trained Mac IT support person takes care of a LOT more installations than a trained Windows IT support team.

FTFY

Re:IT staff (1)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890078)

So, let me get the striaght...

It takes 2 people to take care of about 200 Macs, and ~30-35 people to take care of 2000 Windows machines, of which some are servers, and you admit some of those take care or network/firewall/routers etc. To me that looks like your desktop support people are almost exactly equally distributed between Mac and Windows, about 1/100 with the rest of the Windows guys running the servers and the network.

Honestly I'd say those numbers are pretty good overall from a machine per tech point of view.

I deal with both Windows and Mac's and unless you have insane automation and reporting (which is pretty much impossible in a mixed environment) thats about the numbers you have to run. Mac's are no easier to manage in large numbers than Windows machines. both give you tools to manage them and both can be screwed up just as easily by the user. The only real problem with Windows boxes is when apps that aren't written well require an admin account to run

US Reigns As Most Bot-Infected Country on Web (2, Insightful)

BudAaron (1231468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888806)

So can someone explain why this is news? Sounds more like it reflects the number of computers in the country!

Re:US Reigns As Most Bot-Infected Country on Web (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888922)

So can someone explain why this is news? Sounds more like it reflects the number of computers in the country!

Look, as an American, it feels good to be the bestest at something for a change. We're desperate, we'll take anything.

Threat? What threat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888816)

"...PCs still represent a huge threat." Yeah, that some threat. How long have networks across the world been "vulnerable"? Well, since PC's with their swiss-cheese OS's have been on the internet, right? And yet, apparently no crooks, terrorists, evil government intelligence agencies, or even basement-dwelling script kiddies have launched the big OMGITSBOTNETARMAGEDDON attack that will fell governments, destroy the global economy, etc., etc... My question is, what are the evil-doers waiting for? Let's get this "cyber-war" going already. That is, unless this "threat" is just so much fear-mongering in order to justify more billion dollar government contracts going to the military-industrial-surveillance complex.

What Do You Expect? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33888942)

We (and by "we" I mean "they") elected CampaignBot 5000 as our president. Of course they're going to take over.

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33888948)

PCs were sold as appliances, at an affordable price point, in a country possessing enough disposable income, to a population that (for the most part) gave up on the concept of personal responsibility twenty years ago and now they're being used as tools by criminals from poorer countries. /yawn

In other news (1)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889016)

China gave birth to 4 times as many babies as the US in 2010, so obviously they just love making tons of babies over there.

Why can't we fix this? (1)

Pathway (2111) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889086)

Forgive my ignorance on the subject matter, but why can't we fix this?

Is it because the infected machines have no anti-virus or anti-malware? Would a free AV program installed on the maxhine fix the problem on an individual machine?

Is it because it is too hard for most AV programs to detect a Bot?

Is it because there are too many older computers that don't have a supported AV solution?

Could a free AV check on the most popular homepages (google.com, yahoo.com, live.com, etc) inform users that they are potentially compromised? This would only check to see if an up to date AV program was installed, not a full AV check...

Is it something else all together? Do we even know?

Thanks for helping me understand the problem.

--Pathway

Re:Why can't we fix this? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890066)

The main reason is that we just have more boxes than any other country. But beyond that it's primarily and issue of ignorance in the people using the machines. Our users aren't the worst in that respect, but they could use a lot more education. I've personally not ever had any trouble, but then again, I run anti-malware protection and a sandbox and I'm mindful of where I go play.

Re:Why can't we fix this? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890974)

The problem isn't cleaning up the malware, the problem is preventing it from getting back there shortly afterwards. No anti-malware tool will help if the OS permits applications to run outside the sandbox - even if it asks for user permission to do so, casual users will happily click on "yes" the requisite amount of times to see the promised boobs (or whatever). The only true fix is iOS-style walled garden where the OS does not let the user make security decisions at all (and hence make mistakes about them), so be careful what you're asking for.

National Reformat Day (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889160)

Seriously, this should be a holiday or something... when everyone reformats and goes back to a clean install. Good bye botnets, at least for quite a while...Too bad, as a species, we don't seem capable of this kind of synchronization.

Re:National Reformat Day (3, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33889614)

Too bad, as a species, we don't seem capable of this kind of synchronization.

Actually as a species we are quite capable of synchronisation, the problem is people only synchronise of trivial bullshit EG: sporting events.

Re:National Reformat Day (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890710)

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

Seriously /.'ers, there are people out there that don't consider computer maintenance as a fun thing to do. I know, it's blasphemy, but variety is the spice of life.

Re:National Reformat Day (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890080)

Humans are predominantly a herd animal. Most people want to do whatever other people are doing and it's really scary once you start to notice it. One of my friends used to volunteer for campaigns and one thing she'd be responsible for at times was starting the applause. Which meant being doing the first three or four claps that started everybody else clapping.

I wasn't there, but I have observed the phenomenon myself and I don't think that there's any way of looking at it which isn't terrifying.

Wrong headline, wrong RTFA (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889432)

Sorry to disappoint the USA #1 fans, but it should have read: The U.S. has by far the highest number of bot-infected computers of any country in the world, with nearly four times as many infected PCs as the country in second place, Brazil, according to a new report by Microsoft, until Microsoft's malicious software removal tool cleaned up said computers so those stats are no longer valid.

At the risk of sounding like an asshole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33889694)

if they're counting by the number of executions of the clean-up program, couldn't the numbers reflect greater awareness of infection (more paranoia) for Americans?

Re:At the risk of sounding like an asshole... (1)

aiht (1017790) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890062)

No, because they're actually counting number of infections cleaned.
They also give it as a percentage of the number of executions, but that would go down if a country had more executions of the tool.
Also, the tool runs itself once a month. Is there any way to run it manually?

F*cking Bots, How Do They Work? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890466)

I am so sick of my mother's computer getting owned. Lay off the warez and porn sites ma.

What the hell can I do so she'll stop calling me for tech support when her computer starts acting like Robin Williams on crack every other week?

Re:F*cking Bots, How Do They Work? (2, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890566)

What the hell can I do so she'll stop calling me for tech support when her computer starts acting like Robin Williams on crack every other week?

Next time you show up to fix it, act like Robin Williams on crack.

wth /. wth. (1)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 3 years ago | (#33890686)

COMMON GUYS! This is a website that is *supposed* to consist primarily of intelligent people and nobody asked the important question, or pointed out the moronic flaw!

Of course the US will have the highest absolute number of infected computers, we have the highest number of computers period! This is only relevant if we have the highest PERCENTAGE of infected computers. if 10% of our computers are infected and 100% of canada's computers are infected, we still probably have a lot more infected computers than canada, despite better upkeep.

That being said, I don't doubt that we also have the highest percentage of infected computers, I am just flabbergasted something so incredibly stupid and meaningless would be posted to slashdot when any moron that passed middle school math class should know why this article is totally meaningless, but simply by switching from descriptions in absolute terms to description in percent infected terms, the article would all of a sudden actually show that americans suck with computers or are targeted more frequently. Right now all it is saying is that we have more infected computers than anybody else. Well that's fine and dandy, I suppose you are going to tell me that China has more cases of the flu than the US does too? I mean, sure they have several times more people than us, so even if they had double the flu cases they would still be healthier per capita than us. You just need to say they have twice as many flu cases per population than the US, and it suddenly becomes a glaring scar on their image instead of a meaningless rant about irrelevant bullshit.

And really, i am always the guy attacking people who inject excess sense into a conversation gone terribly astray, but this doesn't even have a baseline of sense to which an excess can be added.

Also, most of the posts are just pointless nerd culture which speaks nothing of intelligence simply that you watched star trek instead of football. Really the both of you are the same unless you can say something important and they can't. And when you lose the ability to say something important, like a per capita comparison of issues between cultures instead of ranting about how your country has more penises just because it has a higher number of total men, then you are no longer any more intelligent than even the dumbest jock. What is nerd culture worth if you are not being nerdy but totally retarded, ranting about pointless bullshit like how hot your quarterback/sci-fi character is?

Makes sense (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33891894)

There are a lot of privately owned Windows boxes in the USA that have fast internet connections and excessive amounts of CPU and RAM. This combination is surely juicier than the kind of specs and connections and (importantly) volume you can get in most other places. I would be shocked if first-world countries with large tech sectors were not the biggest source of compromised computers.

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