Malware In The Factory
Microsoft recently revealed that malware is being installed on computers at the shipping and possibly factory level. This is alarming news for consumers and businesses all over the world. The malicious software was found during a test conducted by researchers in China where 4 in 20 computers checked were infected.
The Malware Problem
Malware has been a growing problem since the internet was first created, but in the past five years it has become nothing less then a major headache for computer users around the globe. As Windows is the most connected system to the internet, it is the number one target for hackers and spammers. Back in 2007 malware had already reached saturation in the US with levels peaking at 34.2%. China was not far behind at 31.0%.
Flash forward 5 years and the malware problem has not gone away, though the statistics have shifted by country somewhat. The USA is still the leading source of malware code being found online and accounts for 30% of all malicious code. Interestingly China has dropped significantly since 2007 and whilst still a big threat for computers, malicious code found on Chinese servers has dropped.
Overall though, the problem hasn’t gone away. It has simply adapted. The Microsoft researchers who found the infected computers in China, believe that the problem cannot just exist in one factory or stock room. China has always been a major hub for illicit activity and the fact that ‘Nitol’ – one of the most modern malicious viruses – was found on several of the test cases, shows that they still have a long way to go before eliminating the problem.
There is no simple answer to how to prevent a malware attack on your computer as in many cases you won’t be able to. The word ‘vigilance’ keeps cropping up on the pages of many advice articles and tech journals across the net, but what does it actually mean for the user? For home computers and small businesses the best advice is to ensure you have sufficient safeguards in place to prevent infection when online. This includes up to date virus checkers and software and Windows automatic updates where available. However one area that has become huge in protecting users is having the facilities to back up your data.
According to one leading data management company, Investment in back up is not only cost effective, but also essential owing to the continuing adaptability of hackers and trolls.
“Malware and high cases of virus infections may have dropped over the past five years, but there are still plenty of hackers out there working round the clock to obtain data illegally and wipe out systems.”
As it is impossible to protect your system from everything, the best you can do is to protect the files that matter most to you. In many cases this means protecting company data which can be anything from personnel records, financial accounts or simply an address book. Even Apple computers are no longer immune with more and more hackers targeting the software giant. An announcement made just this month regarding the release of ‘Dockster’ malware designed specifically to take control of Apple computers shows that no one is 100% safe.
In times where you cannot even be sure that your new computer is not already infected with malware when you take it out of the box, data management and back ups are now the most effective protection anyone can have.