One Year of Microsoft Security Essentials

It’s been a busy year for Microsoft Security Essentials. As we observed right after the first week of release, Microsoft Security Essentials had already detected threats on over half a million computers. As Microsoft Security Essentials enters into its second year with over 31 million installations, 27 million of those computers have reported infections to the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC).

As indicated by the chart below, the country with the most installations is the United States, but the next 10 countries with the most installs show that Microsoft Security Essentials has a global install base.  It is available in 27 languages – so language shouldn’t be a barrier to good security. Money is no problem, either – Microsoft Security Essentials is available at no cost!

Top 10 non-US countries by install base:

Security Essentials is installed all over, but the threats it’s protecting PCs against are far from globally uniform.  For example, if you compare the graph of installations above to the chart of machines where Security Essentials detected exploit attacks below, you can see that while China is relatively low on the install base list and Russia came in at number 10 by install base, users are relatively more likely to be attacked via exploits.  

Japan has a fairly large installed base, it is notably absent from the exploit top 10 list.  If you read the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report v8, you know Japan is one of the least infected countries when it comes to malware, and installing Security Essentials should help them maintain their rank.  Germany has a low infection rate, but computers in that country are being attacked by exploits in proportion to the install base, so continued vigilance is needed.

In addition to up to date antimalware protection, applying any software security updates is key to preventing exploits.

Countries reporting (to the MMPC) the most number of infected machines when using Microsoft Security Essentials in first year:

It’s been a busy year for malware and Microsoft Security Essentials in the three countries we highlighted in the week one blog post.  The Autorun threat family has pulled away from Conficker in Brazil, and the widespread Bancos threat, which is unique to Brazil, entered the top 5.  In China, exploit families like ShellCode and CVE-2010-0806 continue to dominate.  In the United States, Renos has taken over the top spot from Wimad, the new top rogue threat is FakeSpyPro, and the Java runtime exploits of CVE-2008-5353 are a major problem.  There’s wide differences in the threat landscape from country to country, but Microsoft Security Essentials is helping everywhere.

Top Families detected by Microsoft Security Essentials in first year:

For more threat details, please visit our online malware encyclopedia, and if you're unprotected, please install Microsoft Security Essentials today.  

Joe Faulhaber

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