FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, June 12, 2006

Invasion of the Zombies!

Is your Windows PC a zombie?  (Hold your tongues, Mac users!)  Microsoft thinks there's a very good chance it could be.

Statistics compiled by Microsoft's Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, 60% of the Windows systems scanned between January 2005 and March 2006 had some kind of "backdoor" Trojan malware installed, which could allow a malicious user to take control of them without the authorized users' knowledge -- in effect, turning them into "zombies." 

In some cases, zombie computers are used to attack other systems.  In others, they allow a cracker access to the computer's data.  Typically, Trojans are spread through adware or viruses.  According to Microsoft figures, Trojans far outnumbered other types of security breaches, including e-mail worms and rootkits. 

These numbers suggest that we have a long way to go in the battle for digital security.  As new digital devices appear, and as more of these devices interact digitally and exchange valuable data, the prevalence of malware is going to become an exponentially increasing problem.

Source:  ZDNet