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Security flaws decrease but malicious code grows
Category : General 25 Apr 2010 01:42 AM | Industry News
Use of the Internet is increasing all across the world and so are the threats that attack unsuspecting PC users. Symantec, a global provider of security, storage, and systems management solutions, has released a report that indicates the continuous evolution of the Internet threats.
Internet Security Threat Report by Symantec saw solid signs that malicious activity is now taking root in countries like Brazil, India, Poland, Vietnam and Russia. In 2009, these countries moved up the rankings as a source and target of malicious activity by cyber criminals. The findings from the report suggest that government crackdowns in developed countries have led cyber criminals to launch their attacks from the developing world, where they are less likely to be prosecuted.
The United States was the country of the most bot-infected computers observed by Symantec in 2009, accounting for 11 per cent of the global total, a slight decrease from 12 percent in 2008.
The growing level of malicious code activity affecting Brazil has also resulted in the proposal of a new cybercrime bill in the country. The initiative may also be a result of a number high-profile cyber attacks there in recent years.
Germany ranks second in terms of phishing hosts and third in terms of origin of attacks. In terms of spam zombies, it is ranked 7th and is second in hosting phishing.
India saw a surge in malicious activity in 2009, moving from 11th for overall malicious activity in 2008 to fifth in this period. In 2009, India also accounted for 15 percent of all malicious activity in the Asia-Pacific/Japan (APJ) region, an increase from 10 per cent in 2008.
The United Kingdom has seen a drop in malicious activity. It is ranked 4th in terms of malicious code, origin of attacks and 7th in phishing hosts.
Russia which was at 12th place last year has surged to the 7th position. The country is ranked second in terms of spam zombies, fifth in phishing hosts and tenth in terms of origin of attacks.
Italy has seen a drop in malicious activity. It is now at ninth place from seventh position in 2008. The country is ranked ninth for spam zombies, sixth for bots and eighth in terms of origin of attacks.
Spain has also seen a fall in malicious activity. It has fallen to 10th place from sixth last year. It ranks at the 11th position for spam zombies and phishing hosts, seventh for bots and ninth in terms of origin of attacks.
Researchers also found that 2009 saw a dramatic growth in the number of Web-based attacks targeted at PDF viewers, which accounted for 49% of Web-based attacks, compared with 11% in 2008.
One reason for the increase in malicious activity in emerging countries is the rapid growth in network connectivity, according to the report.
The level of malicious activity in India has been increasing steadily over several reporting periods as its broadband infrastructure and user base grows.
The country experiencing most malicious activity was still the US, but this was down four per cent on 2008.