Microsoft Security Blog

The official Microsoft blog for discussing industry and Microsoft security topics.

November, 2011

  • Millions of Java Exploit Attempts: The Importance of Keeping All Software Up To Date

    Recently I was prompted to update Java components that are installed on one of the personal computers I have at home. As the installation wizard walked me through the steps to install the update, I was reminded how ubiquitous Java is. Figure: The Java update installer that ran on my personal computer Attackers have been aggressively targeting vulnerabilities in Java because it is so ubiquitous. As reported in the latest volume of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (volume 11), the...
  • Determining the Geolocation of Systems Infected with Malware

    For me, one of the most interesting new bits of data included in the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIRv11) is related to the methods we use to identify the geolocation of systems reporting malware infection data to us. Malware infection rate data for over a hundred locations is reported using a measure called computers cleaned per mille (CCM). CCM represents the number of computers cleaned of malware for every 1,000 executions of the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT...
  • Cyber-Threats in the European Union

    I recently visited Brussels, where the European Union has its main base of operations. I had the opportunity to talk to numerous people there about the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report containing data and insights on the cyber-threats Microsoft has observed specifically in the EU. Microsoft publishes the Security Intelligence Report twice per year, containing data and analysis on cyber-threats we observe from more than 600 million systems worldwide and from some of the Internet’s busiest...
  • The Curious Case of Qatar

    A recent blog post I wrote entitled Determining the Geolocation of Systems Infected with Malware , focused on some of the interesting changes in regional malware infection rates that occurred when we started using IP geolocation in the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIRv11) . Figure 1: The five locations with the largest malware infect rate (CCM) increases caused by the switch to IP geolocation As seen in figure 1, the difference between Qatar’s CCM when measured via IP...
  • Weekly Roundup : Nov 18, 2011 : Facebook Hit with ‘Porn Spam Attack’ and Android Suffers ‘Avalanche’ of Malware

    Trending Security News Two major players—Facebook and Android—dominated security news this week. The attack on Facebook involved bombarding users with pornography and horridly violent images. Computerworld’s headline captured the impact the attack had on the online community: Facebook users reel from porn spam attack while Threat Post reported on the coding behind the attack, which was linked to a relatively obscure exploit method known as self-inflicted JavaScript injection...
  • Weekly Roundup : Nov 4, 2011 : Calls for Closer International Cooperation Emerge from the London Cyber Conference

    Trending Security News The big happening this week was the London Conference on Cyberspace where government and private sector leaders from around the world gathered to share ideas on how to best combat cyber threats and secure the Internet. Scott Charney, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing, called for harmonization of global law and swifter collaboration between law enforcement and other parties across international boundaries, according to coverage from V3.Co.UK #LondonCyber...
  • Weekly Roundup : Nov 11, 2011 : Operation Ghost Click ‘Biggest Cybercriminal Takedown in History’

    Trending Security News Another win for the good guys this week as a multi-year, international operation dubbed “Operation Ghost Click” resulted with the result of cyber criminals in their native Estonia. The investigation, led by the FBI, is credited with taking down an international click fraud scheme that included infecting with malware more than four million computers in over 100 countries, including about 500,000 in the United States. Brian Krebs titled his coverage ‘Biggest...
  • Weekly Roundup : Nov 25, 2011 : Black Friday and Cyber Monday Heralded with Release of More Malware

    Trending Security News As people in the United States prepared to tuck into their Thanksgiving dinner, and tune out the incessant ads urging them to take advantage of the allegedly great shopping opportunities to follow in the form of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it was a perfect time to consider . . . what the cybercriminals were up to. One of the most widely covered stories this week was about some virus-laden malware being distributed worldwide in the form of “free” iTunes gift...