Microsoft: Shocking Number of PCs Vulnerable

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft says that approximately one in four computers around the world are completely vulnerable to cyber attack. That finding is one part of Microsoft's newest Security Intelligence Report.

According to the fourteenth volume of Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report, 24 per cent of all computers worldwide are not protected by up-to-date antivirus or anti-malware software.

The problem with that, Microsoft says: "Computers without antivirus software are 5.5 times more likely to be infected." (Source:

Microsoft's report also highlights the dangers posed to computers running out-of-date protection software. Microsoft says that, until a system's antivirus and anti-malware software is updated, it is far more likely to suffer an infection than computers that have been updated.

26% of U.S. Computers Vulnerable to Attack

Microsoft also relayed information about security vulnerabilities in each nation. The firm found that, in the second half of 2012, 26 per cent of computers in the United States were unprotected and vulnerable to infection.

At 30 per cent and 40 per cent, Indian and Egyptian computers were the most vulnerable to attack.

The report says that 23 per cent of Canadian computers, 21 per cent of British computers, and 29 per cent of Russian computers were open to attack last year. (Source:

Microsoft says that all computer users should be fully aware of their system's security situation. Ask yourself: is my antivirus and anti-malware software up-to-date? Did a trial version of a full antivirus or anti-malware program end, leaving me vulnerable?

Microsoft: Beware "Rogue" Security Software

The Redmond-based firm is also reminding computer users to watch out for "rogue" security software, including scareware and ransomware.

These programs pretend to protect your system, but in many cases will either force you to pay extra for protection or hold your system hostage.

One of the worst offenders was fake antivirus program Onescan, which was installed on roughly 3 million computers last year.

Microsoft is reminding people that it offers a free security program, Microsoft Security Essentials, for those who cannot afford a subscription from a major antivirus vendor.

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