Malware dominant threat in UAE but lower than global average

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insurance.gifThe number of computers infected with malware in the UAE is lower than the global average, according to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report - SIR v8. The UAE had an infection rate of 5.8 systems infected for every 1,000 systems that Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) executed on. That compares to a global malware infection rate of 7 for every 1,000 systems during the second half of last year. Countries with the highest infection rates in the period were Turkey (20%), followed by Brazil (18%) and Spain (17.1%). Saudi Arabia also made the top ten at 13%.

According to Vinny Gullotto, general manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, the malware landscape in the Middle East differs from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, he says the UAE is 'dominated' by malware, accounting for 82.6% of all threats detected on infected computers.

The most common category of malware in the UAE was worms, which accounted for 23.3% of all infected computers. The next most common category was miscellaneous trojans, which includes all trojan families that are not classified as downloaders/droppers or backdoors, and accounted for 21.2% of all infected computers.

"SIR v8 provides compelling evidence that cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and packaging online threats to create, update and maintain exploits kits that are sold on to others to deploy," said Gullotto. "By bringing out this report, our aim at Microsoft is to share our extensive analysis of the threat landscape and related guidance with our customers, partners and the broader industry, helping ensure people are better informed and in turn protected."

Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.