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People browsing the Web are more likely to face a socially engineered attack a Microsoft blog has warned today.

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Social-engineering attacks like tricking a user into running a malicious program, are more common threat than other security vulnerabilities, Microsoft SmartScreen program manager Jeb Haber warned.

Such ‘attacks’ include “Run this to watch movies for free, download this security software to clean your machine, or get great emoticons.”

Since the release of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 in March ’09 its ‘SmartScreen’ filter has blocked more than 1.5 billion attempted malware and what it terms socially engineered attacks.

“From our experience operating these services at scale, we have found that 1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware,” the IE blog warns.

In total, there are between 2- 5 million attacks a day for IE8 and IE9 users. 

SmartScreen also acts as a web style bouncer with ‘application reputation’ which checks all applications downloaded which helps protect users from new malware programs that have not yet been uncovered.

It also enables IE9 to remove unnecessary warnings for downloads with an established positive reputation.

 

“When it comes to program downloads, other browsers today either warn on every file or don’t warn at all. Neither of these approaches helps the user make a better decision,” Haber says.

Microsoft also says Explorer is one of the only browsers to provide this type of protection.

To read the blog in full click here

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