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32% of Computers Still Infected, Despite Presence of Antivirus Program

Hengelo, December 9, 2009. Computer users assume that the popular antivirus programs will protect them against malware (viruses, spyware, Trojans, etc). But our research shows this is not correct. Over 100,000 computers were scanned using our award-winning product, Hitman Pro 3, and almost 32% of the users that have an up-to-date antivirus program installed is still infected with malware.

"Our research shows that traditional antivirus programs cannot keep up with the cyber criminals", according to CEO Mark Loman. "Despite all their efforts, suppliers of antivirus programs release a solution days, sometimes weeks, after a new malware instance is released."

Mark Loman continues: "Our research also shows that not all antivirus programs detect the same threats. A combination of different antivirus programs would reduce the number of infections dramatically. This security strategy is already used successfully at the enterprise level, but has been difficult to implement for home users due to the increased resource requirements needed to run multiple antivirus programs and conflicts between different antivirus programs, both of which can adversely affect computer performance."

Hitman Pro 3 allows home users to use the detection and removal capabilities of multiple antivirus programs incorporated into one seamless solution, because the 7 antivirus programs are available via Internet (the Scan Cloud).

Research Results

107,435 computer users have used the free version of Hitman Pro 3 for the first time in the period from October 10 to December 4.
78,828 users had an up-to-date antivirus program installed. 28,607 users had not.
25,038 (32%) of the 78,828 users with up-to-date antivirus program were infected with malware.
13,002 (46%) of the 28,607 users without up-to-date antivirus program were infected with malware.

These 107,435 users have scanned their computer using the Behavioural Scan in Hitman Pro 3. All potential malware instances were submitted to the SurfRight Scan Cloud for further analysis. All of these malware samples were gathered in the period from October 10 to December 4 (55 days) in order to reflect actual malware samples "in the wild" and not a collection of "old" malware examples.

Top 10 of found malware

Rank Malware Infected
1. Generic 34,845
2. FakeAV 13,050
3. Alureon 5,915
4. Delf 4,116
5. Virut 2,868
6. Vundo 2,421
7. Small 2,342
8. OneStep 2,093
9. OnLineGames 1,946
10. Swizzor 1,854

The large number of generics is an indication that AV vendors are trailing behind in releasing signatures to detect new variants of malware. For example: The TDSS rootkit is in the top 3 of malware that Hitman Pro 3 detected last month. We received the first sample of TDSS/Alureon rootkit from a victim’s machine in our Scan Cloud on October 30, 2008. More than one year later, this particular rootkit sample still beats every major AV product.

Research Results

Click here for a detailed description of the research results and the methodology.

Hitman Pro 3

Hitman Pro 3 can scan a computer in only a few minutes from a USB Flash Drive, CD/DVD, local or network attached hard drive and will quickly reveal the presence of any malware using a Behavioural Scan. The actual verification of these potential malware files is then done on the Hitman Pro servers, the "Scan Cloud", which incorporates a hosted multi-vendor scanning service. Hitman Pro 3 uses 7 different antivirus programs to analyse the suspicious files.

Hitman Pro 3 can be used in addition to your existing antivirus program. Scanning your PC is free so Hitman Pro 3 is an ideal solution to check if your current antivirus program is protecting you sufficiently. A free version can be downloaded from www.hitmanpro.com

About SurfRight

SurfRight B.V. was founded in 2008, based on the freeware project Hitman Pro 1 and 2 with a user base of more than 3 million users. SurfRight is dedicated to the development of smart, efficient and user-friendly security solutions for the average computer user. Hitman Pro 3 and the Caretaker product family include solutions against unsolicited mail (spam), online fraud (phishing), viruses and other malware.


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