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New malware scanner finds 5% of Windows PCs infected

According to statistics generated by Microsoft’s new free malware scanning and scrubbing tool, Safety Scanner, one in every twenty Windows PCs were infected with malware.

As ComputerWorld reports, one in every twenty Windows PCs, who used Microsoft’s Safety Scanner to check for malware, were infected.

Microsoft’s Safety Scanner was downloaded 420,000 times in just one week of availability and it cleaned up malware or signs of exploitation from more than 20,000 Windows PCs, according to statistics generated by Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center. This resulted in an infection rate of nearly 5%.

The bulk of the threats found by Safety Scanner were Java exploits. Microsoft recently detailed in a report about how Java-based exploits were on the rise since 2010. Since Java is both cross-platform and cross-browser, it makes it an easy target for hackers.

Safety Scanner found 2,272 Windows PCs with evidence of an exploit of the most widely used Java bug, called “CVE-2008-5353.” 7.3% of those PCs were also infected by the “Alureon” root-kit while 5.7% of those PCs were infected with a face security program from the “Winwebsec” family.

Safety Scanner replaced an older online-only tool by Microsoft and uses the same technology and detection signatures as Microsoft’s free Security Essentials antivirus program.

Here is a description of the scanner from Microsoft:

Do you think your PC has a virus?

The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works with your existing antivirus software.

Download the Microsoft Safety Scanner here.

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