Many clients have used McAfee antivirus software, often given away for free or on a new PC as a trial. Behind the scenes, whenever there is an attempted KNOWN attack on a computer with McAfee installed on that PC, a message is sent to McAfee for statistical information. A recent article in a popular online computer technology magazine called The Standard in the UK, wrote a report explaining why Intel recently purchased McAfee.
The most interesting fact was the statistical growth of these ‘messages’:
A year ago, McAfee was processing a million messages a day from its subscribers’ systems. But with the proliferation of devices and malware – DeWalt said there are 48 million pieces of malware out there on the Intertubes – the company is now processing 6 billion messages a day from the devices that its back-end systems are protecting.
Malware is another term for spyware. This is a software that installs itself on the computer without the consent of the computer owner, and can do many things to the computer. It can skim for identity information from anyone who uses the machine. It can post fake warnings from fake scanning software – aka ransom-ware. It can be used to send 100’s of SPAM messages to OTHER computers during the late night – or it may become a member of a gigantic network of infected PC’s to be controlled and manipulated at the command of the software writer.