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19 March 2007, 13:26

Report shows most internet attacks originate from the USA

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According to Symantec, in late 2006 the USA occupied the number one spot with 31 per cent of all criminal activity on the internet. Around ten per cent of attacks originate from China, and, according to the six monthly Internet Security Threat Report (PDF), seven percent from Germany. Russia does not even make it into the top ten for malicious activity.

26 per cent of all bots are resident in China, the largest share for any country. Beijing is particularly affected by the plague - five per cent of all bots recorded by Symantec were located in this one city alone. Interestingly, most of the command and control servers for such bots are located in the USA - 40 per cent. In addition, the USA has the largest number of underground economy servers, meaning servers which are involved in the trade in stolen credit card numbers, PINs, TANs and e-mail addresses. Half of all systems registered are in the US. A real shadow economy appears to have developed. A credit card with security code can be picked up for six dollars, a complete identity including all relevant details, such as ID card number, costs around 18 dollars. Sweden is in second spot in the underground economy server list.

The rest of the Symantec report, of which this is now the eleventh edition, holds few surprises - ever more phishing attacks, ever more spam. The number of security vulnerabilities disclosed in a given period is also continuing to rise. The security specialists from Cupertino expect even more sophisticated phishing attacks in the future, and that phishers will also turn their attention to new industry sectors. In addition, users need to prepare themselves for spam and phishing attacks on mobile phones via SMS and MMS.

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