Malware

Threat Categories and Families

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) classifies individual threats into types based on a number of factors, including how the threat spreads and what it is designed to do. To simplify the presentation of this information the SIR groups these types into 10 categories based on similarities in function and purpose.

Detections by Category
Categories by Location
Top Threat Families

Detections by Threat Category

Detections by threat category 3Q10–2Q11, by percentage of all computers reporting detections

Detections by threat category 3Q10–2Q11, by percentage of all computers reporting detections

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  • Totals for each time period may exceed 100 percent because some computers report more than one category of threat in each time period.
  • Adware rose to become the most commonly detected category in 1Q11 and 2Q11, due in large part to a pair of new families, Win32/OpenCandy and Win32/ShopperReports, and large increases in detections of a number of older families. See “Threat Families” on page 29 for more information.
  • A small increase in detections of Miscellaneous Potentially Unwanted Software families, notably Win32/Keygen, made it the second most commonly detected family in 2Q11, just ahead of Miscellaneous Trojans.
  • Worms and Trojan Downloaders & Droppers were two of the more significant categories in 2010, but declined to 10.9 percent and 9.3 percent of detections by 2Q11, respectively. A change in the behavior of the AutoRun feature in older versions of Windows implemented in February 2011 was followed by drops in detections of a number of worm families, contributing to the decline seen here.

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