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22 January 2007, 19:22

Study finds that US is home to most malicious websites

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According to security software vendor Sophos, 34.2 per cent of all websites containing malware are hosted in the US, putting our friends across the pond at first place in the Security Threat Report 2007. China took second place at 31 per cent, with Russia coming in third at 9.5 per cent. Germany came eighth, with 1.8 per cent of malicious websites.

The report also concluded that 30 per cent of harmful software was programmed in China. Most of this malware consists of trojans, programs designed to "open a back door" to the recipient's computer. 17 per cent of trojans are designed to find out the passwords of people who play online games.

The Sophos "dirty dozen" table of top spam-relaying countries shows that the USA still lead the list of countries that produced spam emails in 2006; the security experts estimated the US's share at 22 per cent of spam. China and Hong Kong came in second at 15.9 per cent, with South Korea coming in third at 7.4 per cent. Germany came in ninth with 3 per cent. Sophos found that 90 per cent of spam worldwide came from computers controlled remotely via malicious software, such as Trojans. These computers do not necessarily have to be in the same country as the ones misused for the sending of spam. The Mytob, Netsky, Sober and Zafi worms together account for 75 per cent of infected e-mails.


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