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Zombie PCs Numbers Rise By 50 Percent Since 2008

It seems that the number of zombie systems on the internet is growing with each passing day as the security firm McAfee alone, since January has been able to detect nearly twelve million computers systems which were hijacked by cyber-criminals.

McAfee also mentions that a staggering 50 percent increase in the number of detected zombie computers has been noticed since 2008 and such a large increase in botnets can pose a serious security hazard in future.

The worrying figures from McAfee come close on heels of a report on cyber security released by consultancy major, Deloitte which advocates a global response to cyber security.

The report mentions the need of a joint effort from government and private organizations as isolated attempts to address cyber security are unlikely to succeed due to the interconnected nature of the internet.

The report also vociferously argues the case that society today is quite dependent on the "cyber domain" while in contrast efforts to secure it are lagging way behind.

It goes on to suggest that governments need to cooperate together to set uniform standards for security on the internet across the world and proactively design new laws that relate to data privacy and security which can address the emerging concerns.

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Our Comments

Zombie computers are now part of the security Folklore unfortunately. One computer in an office is enough to compromise a whole network, which makes it more difficult then to close all the gaps. McAfee's report comes a few hours after the company's websites were criticised for being vulnerable, containing weaknesses that could have been used to launch a phishing attack.

Related Links

Zombie computers 'on the rise' (opens in new tab)

(BBC News)

50 Percent Rise In 'Zombie' Computers (opens in new tab)

(Red Orbit)

Number of 'Zombie' Computers on the Increase (opens in new tab)


12m 'zombie computers' hijacked (opens in new tab)


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.