Friday, January 16, 2009

1 in 3 Windows PCs Vulnerable to Worm Attack

Gregg Keizer writes on InfoWorld:

The worm that has infected several million Windows PCs is causing havoc because nearly a third of all systems remain unpatched 80 days after Microsoft rolled out an emergency fix, a security expert said Thursday.

Based on scans of several hundred thousand customer-owned Windows PCs, Qualys concluded that about 30 percent of the machines have not yet been patched with the "out of cycle" fix Microsoft provided Oct. 23 as security update MS08-067.

"The unpatched numbers went down significantly around the 30-day mark," said Wolfgang Kandek, Qualys' chief technology officer, "when less than 50 percent were unpatched. After that, it went down a little slower. As of yesterday, 30 percent of the machines are unpatched."

With nearly a third of all Windows systems still vulnerable, it's no surprise that the "Downadup" worm has been able to score such a success, Kandek said. "These slow [corporate] patch cycles are simply not acceptable," he said. "They lead directly to these high infection rates."

More here.


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