Security company Webroot published a report that revealed a sharp increase in the number of infections on systems running Windows 7.
The mid-year update of the Webroot Threat Report showed that Windows 7 exploits had risen 71% from 2018.
The number of IPs that host Windows exploits also rose by 75%.
The report indicated that private systems were more susceptible than enterprise machines.
“Out of all infected PCs, 64% were home user machines, and 36% were business devices, likely because home users aren’t protected by corporate firewalls and security policies and may not be updated as regularly.”
Webroot also noted that businesses could step up security by adding policies that protect the temp, cache and appdata folders.
As the research found that more than 75% of malware was hidden in these locations.
Safety in Windows 10
According to the report, Windows 10 systems were less likely to be exploited.
“In general, computers using the Windows 7 operating system are twice as likely to become infected as those running Windows 10, with approximately 0.12 infections per Windows 7 device so far in 2019, and 0.05 infections per Windows 10 device,” the report stated.
As previously reported, Microsoft is ending support for the Windows 7 operating system on 14 January 2020.
The company encouraged users to upgrade to Windows 10 before their systems could become vulnerable to attacks.
After the cutoff date, any machine running Windows 7 will no longer be able to receive official security updates or support from Microsoft.
Windows 7 is still running on some 30 percent of the world’s computers, and it’ll certainly be hard for Microsoft to convince everyone to upgrade. Especially as switching to Windows 10 would mean embracing the company’s new modern operating system.
Windows 7 is under attack
When it comes to compromising a Windows 7 device, most malware infections hide their files in places where it’s harder to find them.
For example, 41 percent of the malware samples hide in the temp folder, while 24 percent move their files to app data. Around 11 percent turned the cache system folder into their new home.