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Malware affects up to a third of users with antivirus software

SurfRight : 09 February, 2010  (Technical Article)
Research undertaken by SurfRight indicates that despite having up-to-date antivirus software, as many as a third of PC users are nonetheless affected by malware of some form
SurfRight, a developer of tools that give users more control over their PC security, has announced the results of research that shows that 32 per cent of users with up-to-date antivirus software installed on their computers are actually infected with malware.

The survey was conducted between 10th October and 4th December 2009 with 107,435 users who scanned their computer using SurfRight's HitmanPro 3 Behavioural Scan. While over three quarters of users (78,828) had an up-to-date virus programme installed, some 28,608 users had not. Of even greater concern was that 25,038 (32 per cent) of those with the latest antivirus software were found to be infected with malware.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Loman, founder and CEO of SurfRight said, "Our research shows that traditional antivirus software cannot keep up with cyber criminals. Despite all their efforts, it is often days or even weeks before some suppliers of antivirus programmes release a solution to a new threat."

Three key conclusions have been drawn from the findings:

* It is not enough to assume a PC is protected just because antivirus software is installed. Users should scan their PC regularly using a different vendor to gain a second opinion
* Rather than simply renewing a subscription of antivirus software when it expires, it is better to upgrade to the latest version which is more likely to be aware of the very latest threats
* Although antivirus programmes are able to detect sophisticated threats, not all are able to remove them completely.

"We also found that not all programmes detect the same threats, so the only way for users to be really sure would be to combine multiple anti-malware programmes on their PCs." Added Mr Loman.

Hitman Pro 3 can scan a computer in just a few minutes from either a USB Flash Drive, CD/DVD, local or network attached hard drive and will quickly reveal the presence of any malware using its Behavioural Scan. The actual verification of these potential malware files is then done on the Hitman Pro servers, the 'Scan Cloud', which incorporates a hosted multi-vendor scanning service. Hitman Pro 3 uses seven different antivirus programmes to analyse the suspicious files.

Hitman Pro's Scan Cloud feature will work alongside any existing antivirus, anti spyware or security suite and can be run whenever required to give a second opinion on suspect files or be called upon to remove threats missed by a user's existing software.
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