Computer users are urged to keep their PCs are up to date with the latest security patches following research that shows many PCs are still not patched against Conficker.
The data comes from Sophos's Endpoint Assessment Test, a free tool that scans a computer and assesses whether it is a security risk to an organisation. A single scan checks whether your Microsoft service pack is the current one for your operating system, your Microsoft patches are all up to date, anti-virus protection is installed, running and current, and that a personal firewall is installed and running.
After examining the results for all users who took the test since 1 January this year, Sophos found that 11% still did not have the Microsoft MS08-067 patch installed which can, amongst other things, help protect against the spread of Conficker.
Sophos experts note that the situation does not appear to have improved despite recent publicity regarding Conficker – when looking at the figures just for March, 10% were still missing the essential patch.
"We would have expected computer users to wake up to the threat and install the patch, which has been available since October last year," says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa. "With so many reports on the potential consequences of failing to install the patch, this is concerning news.
"While we can't extrapolate the results to mean that 10 percent of all PCs around the world aren't running the Microsoft patch, it is certainly a notable percentage of those who took our test. And, it appears that the percentage of computers not patched against the exploit used by Conficker is holding steady," Myroff says.