Nearly 1 in 8 Home Networks Infected: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new report, nearly one in every eight home networks in North America is infected with malware. Experts consider about half of those threats to be "serious."

The study comes from Mountain View, California's Kindsight Security Labs. In its third-quarter malware report, the company indicates that 13 per cent of all home networks are infected.

Kindsight's report suggests that about 6.5 per cent of these infections are serious enough to have converted the computers on the infected network into a botnet, or are capable of compromising a user's information security.

ZeroAccess Botnet Extremely Costly

The report also looks at specific infections, including the ZeroAccess botnet. Kindsight's report says that approximately 2.2 million home networks around the world are infected with this particular botnet.

"The has grown significantly to become the most active botnet we've measured this year," noted Kindsight security researcher Kevin McNamee. (Source:

"Cyber criminals are primarily using it to take over victim computers and conduct click fraud...With ZeroAccess, they can mimic the human behavior of clicking online ads, resulting in millions of dollars of fraud."

In fact, the cost of the ZeroAccess infection to online advertisers is almost $1 million each day, Kindsight researchers estimate. (Source:

Android Devices Targeted by Hackers

Kindsight's report also discusses a major upsurge in malware within the Android operating system. The report says the number of Android-related malware samples jumped 165 per cent during the third quarter alone.

One of the biggest problems for Android users is "aggressive adware," Kindsight reports. About three per cent of all Android devices are infected with adware that presents users with unwanted advertisements.

Part of the reason for the increase in Android malware is that hackers remain ahead of security companies. To date, few software packages designed to remove these kinds of threats have reached the market. (Source:

The report suggests that Google may need to take a more proactive approach in weeding out dangerous software from its popular Google Play Store, where most Android users acquire their applications.

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