Microsoft is making progress in the fight against malicious software. According to recent figures released by the company, autorun related malware attacks have sharply declined during the first quarter of 2011.
The Malicious Software Removal Tool from Microsoft was able to register a 59 percent drop in the number of autorun infections on XP and an even higher 74 percent drop in Vista infections, approximately 1.3 million fewer infections than the previous year, PC World (opens in new tab) reports.
Critical security updates for both XP and Vista launched in February allowed systems installed with these operating systems to turn off the autorun feature for USB sticks but not for other media devices such as CDs and DVDs.
This critical security update from Microsoft prevented autorun malware attacks from entering and infecting the users system. The analysis excluded Windows 7 as this operating system is already shipped with the security update and does not require users to install it separately
According to Microsoft the top offenders in autorun malware category include Taterf, Rimecud, Win32 and the infamous Conficker virus which appeared in 2008. Microsoft’s Holly Stewart pointed out that infections from autorun would never reach zero as hackers can always find new ways to infect computers.