For the Mac Fans: Windows Gets Malware, Too

Brad Chacos

It's true, we've been giving Apple a lot of grief recently over the whole Mac Defender thing. While it's fun to watch Mac fanatics squirm so much over a fairly straightforward malware infection, if we're being honest, the only reason us Windows users are so cynical and jaded in the first place is because we've all dealt with a nasty infection or two ourselves. But just how prevalent is malware on Microsoft systems? A post on Microsoft's Threat Research & Response Blog earlier in the week gives us a glimpse at some of the numbers.

In the post, Scott Wu and Joe Faulhaber cite some statistics from the company's newly updated Microsoft Security Scanner. The tool was downloaded almost 420,000 times in the seven days after the update, and it detected 20,097 infected computers in its scans. That's roughly 1 in 20 computers. While a 5 percent infection rate isn't good, it certainly doesn't support the conception that some people have of Windows machines being overrun with viruses and OMG h@x0rs left and right.

In case you were wondering, each infected machine had an average of 3.5 threats found, with Java exploits being far and away the most common cause. Five of the top six most common infections were Java exploits.

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