The key highlights from Microsoft’s own Roger Halbheer:
- Industry vulnerability disclosure trends continue an overall trend of moderate declines since 2006. This trend is likely because of better development practices and quality control throughout the industry,which result in more secure software and fewer vulnerabilities.
- Vulnerability disclosures for Microsoft products increased slightly in 2010 but have generally remained stable over the past several periods.
- The exploitation of Java vulnerabilities sharply increased in the second quarter of 2010 and surpassed every other exploitation category that the MMPC tracks,including generic HTML/scripting exploits,operating system exploits,and document exploits.
- The number of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader exploits dropped by more than half after the first quarter,and remained near this reduced level throughout the remainder of the year.
- Exploits that affected Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader accounted for most document format exploits detected throughout 2010. Almost all of these exploits involved the generic exploit family Win32/Pdfjsc
- Microsoft Office file format exploits accounted for between 0.5 and 2.8 percent of the document format exploits that were detected each quarter in 2010.
- As in previous periods,infection rates for more recently released Microsoft operating systems and service packs are consistently lower than older ones,for both client and server platforms. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2,the most recently released Windows client and server versions,respectively,have the lowest infection rates.
- Infection rates for the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista® and Windows 7 are lower than for the corresponding 32-bit versions of those operating systems. One reason may be that 64-bit versions of Windows still appeal to a more technically savvy audience than their 32-bit counterparts,despite increasing sales of 64-bit Windows versions among the general computing population. Kernel Patch Protection (KPP),a feature of 64-bit versions of Windows that protects the kernel from unauthorized modification,may also contribute to the difference by preventing certain types of malware from operating.
- In the first half of 2010,phishers showed signs of targeting online gaming sites with increasing frequency,although this push appeared to have dwindled as social networks came under increased attack. Impressions that targeted gaming sites reached a high of 16.7 percent of all impressions in June before dropping to a more typical 2.1 percent in December.
- Phishing sites that target social networks routinely receive the highest number of impressions per active phishing site. The percentage of active phishing sites that targeted social networks increased during the final months of the year,but still only accounted for 4.2 percent of active sites in December,despite receiving 84.5 percent of impressions that month. Nevertheless,the number of active sites targeting gaming sites remained relatively high during the second half of the year,which suggests that more campaigns may be coming.