Perimeter
1/18/2011
12:40 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

The Relative Risk Of Malware

Trend Micro reports there are 3.5 new malware released every second, up from 1 new malware every 1.5 seconds a year ago. But what's your actual risk?

Throughout 2010, Trend Micro published figures stating there was 1 new malware threat every 1.5 seconds. Just last week, a blogger interpreted that as being at personal risk of encountering a whopping 19,200 new threats per day (based on eight hours of online time).

Earlier today, Trend Micro upped that figure substantially, twittering that 3.5 new threats were released every second -- a 450% increase. With the wrong interpretation, some might believe that translates to an individual encounter risk of 100,800 new threats per day (based on that same eight hours of online time).

Obviously whether it's actually 1 new threat per 1.5 seconds, or 3.5 new threats per second, neither translates to actual encounter risk for users. To gauge that risk, you'd have to monitor the same user population for an extended period of time and determine what the actual number of raw encounters was at specified, regular intervals.

Fortunately, ScanSafe (now Cisco ScanSafe) has been doing that since May 2007, so we can report on the actual encounter rates. Our user population is a 15,000-seat enterprise; following are the actual numbers of malware encountered:

>> May 2007: 205 encounters
>> May 2008: 669 encounters
>> May 2009: 1,719 encounters
>> May 2010: 4,111 encounters

In other words, if you're a 15,000-seat enterprise, then you probably average 5.5 malware encounters per day. That's still a lot, but it's definitely a lot less than 3.5 every second. The moral of the story: The overall rate of new malware does not equal the overall rate of encounter.

Mary Landesman is an antivirus professional and senior security researcher for ScanSafe, now part of Cisco. In 2009 she was awarded a Microsoft MVP for her work in consumer security.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-2086
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the live preview in the Panopoly Magic module before 7.x-1.17 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a pane title.

CVE-2015-2087
Published: 2015-02-26
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in the Avatar Uploader module before 6.x-1.3 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary PHP code by uploading a file with a PHP extension, then accessing it via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2088
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in unspecified administration pages in the Term Queue module before 6.x-1.1 for Drupal allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unknown vectors.

CVE-2015-2089
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the CrossSlide jQuery (crossslide-jquery-plugin-for-wordpress) plugin 2.0.5 for WordPress allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) change plugin settings or conduct cross-site scripting (...

CVE-2015-2090
Published: 2015-02-26
SQL injection vulnerability in the ajax_survey function in settings.php in the WordPress Survey and Poll plugin 1.1.7 for Wordpress allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the survey_id parameter in an ajax_survey action to wp-admin/admin-ajax.php.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.