Nearly a third of Europe’s PCs were infected with viruses last year, according to figures for 2010 released by the EU’s statistics office. The BBC reported this week that the survey covered more than 200,000 computer users across the 27 countries in the European Union, and was conducted during the second quarter of 2010.
The worrying fact is that the number of infected PCs reported only relates to users who realised they had a virus, and subsequently set about removing it and reporting the infection. Clearly there will be many more people that are infected but don’t actually know.
The article also states that a majority of infected PCs were equipped with anti-virus software, however it’s our guess that a lot of these simply didn’t have up to date virus definitions.
The countries that were the most virus-ridden included Bulgaria, with 58 per cent of its sampled PCs being infected, followed buy Slovakia’s 47 per cent, Hungary’s 46 per cent and Italy’s 45 per cent. The UK sample had a comparatively lower infection rate of 31 per cent.
Meanwhile, the countries with the least number of infected PCs were Austria with a 14 per cent infection rate, Ireland with 15 per cent, Finland with 20 per cent and Germany with 22 per cent.
According to the report, there has also been a marked increase in phishing attacks (using fake emails and websites to obtain users’ details), usually resulting in financial loss, and with smartphone infections. According to Mcafee, its fourth-quarter threat report for 2010 indicated a 46 per cent increase in malware that targets smartphones, compared to the same period in 2009.