Trend Micro, a global leader in Internet content security, has warned that 2010 has already witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of infected PCs in the Middle East, because businesses and individuals fail to take adequate security precautions.
Trend Micro’s Smart Protection Network ™ technology can see how many computers are active on the internet. The number of infected computers across the region is on the rise. In September of 2010, there were more than 800,297 infected machines that Trend Micro saw as active across the GCC - a 60 percent rise in less than one year.
“The numbers of compromised machines are a key indicator of how well the cyber criminals are doing in stealing from this region. The visible infections have more than doubled in less than one year. The bad guys are winning because in this region we are not taking security seriously,” said Ian Cochrane, Marketing Manager, Med, Middle East and Africa.
“I see this growth continuing unless we start to recognize that this region is vulnerable and we start to take steps to protect ourselves,” Cochrane added.
Taking a snapshot in September 2010, there were more than 421,998 machines compromised in Saudi Arabia, a jump of more than 65 percent in less than one year. The UAE saw 91,439 infected machines in September, a jump of 33 percent in less than one year.
In Kuwait the number of infected machines in September stood at 88,056, a jump of 38 percent in less than one year.
Again in September across Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, there was an apparent reduction in the number of ‘active’ infected machines. However during the same period, there were peaks of infections having doubled. This means that machines are still being increasingly infected, but the command and control systems were less active in September,
“Our dependence on the Web raises our vulnerability and most of us are not even aware of our machines being compromised. Protecting ourselves on the internet does not have to be complex. We just need to use professional security software that can also block threats, regular scanning and exercise personal caution,” said Dave Rand, CTO Trend Micro.
“Although it does not replace a comprehensive security solution, Trend Micro’s House Call is an easy way to check for viruses, and above all it’s free. Working on a compromised machine is a security risk for the individual and for businesses,” added Rand.