Two million password stealers fingeredJune 23, 2008 – 5:52 AM
Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool – a program that removes malware from Windows machines – detected password-stealing software from more than 2 million PCs in the first week after it was updated.
One password stealer, called Taterf, alone was detected on 700,000 computers in the first day after the update. That’s twice as many infections as were spotted during the entire month after Microsoft began detecting the notorious Storm Worm malware last September.
“These are ridiculous numbers of infections my friends, absolutely mind-boggling,” said Matt McCormack, from Microsoft’s Malware Response Centre.
Between 10 June and 17 June, Microsoft removed Taterf from about 1.3 million machines, he said.
Microsoft’s September detections seriously hobbled the Storm Worm botnet, once considered a top Internet threat.
Password stealers such as Taterf are among the most common types of malicious software on the Internet. That’s because there’s big money to be made selling the virtual currencies used in online games for real-world cash.