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Sudden boom in malware late last year, Microsoft says

Microsoft Windows computers saw an explosion in malware late last year, mostly from an application that got by most security companies.

Almost 6 0ut of 1,000 Windows computers were compromised up in the third quarter of 2013 - and that number jumped to 17 out of 1,000 for the last quarter. The rise was attributed mostly to a malware called "Rotbrow"

The program masquerades as a browser add-on called "Browser Protector" and is supposedly a security product, Rains said by phone Wednesday. Rotbrow was found on about 59 of every 1,000 computers using its security products, he said.

For some time, computer security companies didn't classify Rotbrow as malicious software. Rotbrow is known as a "dropper," with capabilities to download other software on a computer. It didn't initially download malware to computers it was installed on, Rains said.

But then Rotbrow started downloading malicious browser extensions. Microsoft noticed the change and alerted other security companies, which then began blocking it.

Don't let your computer go without protection. Go to my Security Center now to guard your computer.

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