June 17, 2011

Microsoft winning Autorun battle

by Jan Harris

Microsoft claims it is winning the battle against ‘Autorun’ malware such as the Conficker worm, with infection rates falling substantially this year.

The Autorun feature starts a program automatically when a CD, DVD or USB stick is inserted into a Windows PC.

Microsoft detected 59 per cent less Autorun-related malware infections on XP machines between January and May 2011, compared with the same period last year, and 74 per cent less on machines running Vista.

A key factor in Microsoft’s success in combating the threat is the introduction of a feature allowing Autorun to be turned off for storage devices such as USB sticks which are notorious for spreading malware, while keeping it running for CDs and DVDs.

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