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Microsoft reveals top malware threat in UAE

Saudi Arabia has the seventh highest malware infection rate in the world

Microsoft reveals top malware threat in UAE
Worms are the most common category of malware in the UAE.

The number of computers infected with malware in the United Arab Emirates is lower than the worldwide average, according to a Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.

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. MSRT has a user base of 500+ million unique computers worldwide running Windows operating system that helped identify the global malware infection rate as 7 for every 1,000 systems during the second half of last year.

Countries with the highest infection rates between July and December 2009 were Turkey (20%), followed by Brazil (18%) and Spain (17.1%). Saudi Arabia also made the top ten at 13%.

General manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center Vinny Gullotto says that the malware landscape in the Middle East differs from other parts of the world, which is why he is travelling to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss research findings.

According to Microsoft's analysis, 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 country was found to be worms (23%) that had the ability to spread via mapped drives with missing or weak passwords or by using USB flash drives.

The Win32/Renos Trojan is considered to be the top malware threat in United Arab Emirates but is no.2 worldwide. It is known to automatically download software families that usually display warnings to the user that say the system is infected with spyware and offering to remove the alleged spyware for a fee. In some cases, the programs also cause system instability.

It matches warnings and findings by other security software vendors including McAfee who recently claimed that fake anti-virus scareware claims one million victims every day.

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