Microsoft: 2.2 million U.S. PCs are part of a botnet

– Microsoft published its fifth Security Intelligence Report and gives us interesting information regarding the status of botnets in the first half of 2010.

Botnets controlled nearly 2.2 million computers in the United States during the second quarter of 2010 – almost the same as the first quarter. Although this is more than any other region in number of total infections, South Korea has the highest percentage of controlled system since 14.6 of every 1000 machines are infected. In the U.S. it’s 5.2 per 1000, in Spain it’s 12.4 in 1000 and Mexico is close with 11.4 computers per 1000. In general, Microsoft anti-malware bot applications detected and eliminated 6.5 million computers infections worldwide – twice more than the same period last year.

The Rimecud botnet is the most important according to Microsoft. “Rimecud is a family kit: different people working independently use a programming kit to create their own Rimecud botnets. Rimecud is the main family of malware supporting the Butterfly botnet, which infected millions of computers around the world in 2009 and 2010,” said the report. “Rimecud is a worm that passes into units of fixed and removable storage. Rimecud can be controlled for a number of botnet activities, including spreading through USB flash drives, downloads and running malware and stealing passwords.” A 23-year-old citizen of Slovakia with was arrested in July for allegedly creating this malware.

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