What if I told you that 99.8% of all exploit kit virus infections result from lack of updating five specific software packages? An exploit kit is a prepackaged set of malware available for sale to cyber criminals. CSIS Security Group A/S conducted a survey that found that 99.8% of computers infected by exploit kit delivered viruses and other malware mainly because users forgot to update the Java JRE, Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, and two other software packages commonly found on Windows computers. The exact software exploited isn’t the important issue here. Updating the software on your computer is.
We’ve recommended keeping your anti-virus software updated, your operating system updated, but the truth of the matter is that all the software on your computer needs to be kept updated…all of it. The reason is that cyber crooks are constantly finding weaknesses (vulnerabilities) in software that is common on as many computers as possible. The greater the number the more they’re exploited. In this case they are very common on Windows-based computers; Java and Adobe are quite commonly found on PCs.
I don’t think that you’ll be 99.8% safer by making sure your software is regularly updated, but I do think you’ll greatly decrease your chances of being infected by an Internet exploit kit or other malware. But many of us have large numbers of software packages on our computers. That seems to be a time-consuming task to manage when an update is available and then downloading an update from the developer’s website.
There is a new product that manages updates of all the software on your computer for you. It scans your computer to identify all the software and then contacts all developer sites to see if an update is available. Then it updates your software and then continues to monitor the update status going forward. Sounds terrific, and it is. I use Secunia PSI, it works just as described, and it’s free. I have no affiliation with Secunia other than my use of their software. See A Must Have Security Application – Secunia PSI 3.0 Final Release by my friend and fellow blogger, Bill Mullins for more information on the software.
As always, I appreciate your comments on this subject…so please do. And be careful out there…it’s extremely dangerous these days.
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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.