Microsoft has released the Volume 5 of its Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) which examines the changing threat landscape, including software vulnerability disclosures and exploits, malicious software (malware), and potentially unwanted software.
Using data derived from hundreds of millions of Windows users and online services on the Internet, the report provides an analysis of the threat landscape and the changing face of threats and countermeasures and includes updated data on privacy and breach notifications. The total number of unique vulnerability disclosures across the industry decreased during the first half of 2008, down 4 percent from the second half of 2007 and down 19 percent from the first half of 2007. In contrast to the decrease in total disclosures, vulnerabilities rated as High severity increased 13 percent with respect to the second half of 2007, with roughly 48 percent of all vulnerabilities receiving a rating of High severity. This is still a 28 percent decline from the first half of 2007.
Patterns of malware detected and removed by Microsoft security products varied across countries and regions, however trojan downloaders and droppers remained the most prevalent malware threat globally at over 30 percent of the worldwide total.
As a general rule, infection rates tend to be higher in developing countries/regions than in developed countries/regions, as reported by the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) checks computers running Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 for infections by specific, prevalent malicious software and helps remove any infection found.