I am very happy to announce the availability of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR).  For those of you that are not familiar with the SIR, it is a report that gathers the analysis of security data from more than 600 million systems worldwide. 

According to SIRv10, there is a divergence in cybercriminal behavior :

- On one side, highly sophisticated criminals skilled at creating exploits and informed with intelligence about a target’s environment, pursue high-value targets with large payoffs.

- On the other side, there are cybercriminals using more accessible attack methods, including social engineering tactics and leveraging exploits created by the more skilled criminals, to take a small amount of money from a large number of people. These attack methods include the use of rogue security software, phishing using social networking as the lure, and adware, all which have increased in prevalence in 2010.

To protect your computer at home, or those of your family and friends against malware, here are a few simple tips :

- Update all your software regularly, including non-Microsoft products, like antivirus, browser, operating system, word processing, PDF reader, multimedia player synchronization software.

- Install antivirus and antispyware programs from a trusted source : for instance, Microsoft Security Essentials offers free real-time protection against malicious software for your PC (and for the small businesses with less than 10PCs)

- Use strong passwords and keep them secret : for instance use a passphrase with lower and upper cases characters, numbers and special characters.

- Never turn off your firewall

- Use flash drives cautiously : be cautious when using removable storage (they can contain infected files)

- Get The Latest Software: newer software, like Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9, offers the most up-to-date protections to help keep information safe. 

You can find more information here on How to boost your malware defense and protect your PC.

For professionals, see how to Protect your organization.

For more information, visit http://microsoft.com/sir to get the report (full or key findings) or watch how a malware steals credit card information from the user (and how one can remove the Trojan).