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Global Internet Malware Doubles - Q1 2007

Posted: 24th Apr, 2007 By: MarkJ
I.T Security group Sophos has reported tracking 23,864 new malicious online software (malware) threats during the first quarter of 2007, more than double that seen in the same period last year (9,450):

the same time, the percentage of infected email has dropped from 1.3 percent, or one in 77 emails in the first three months of 2006, to one in 256, or just 0.4 percent in 2007.

Infected websites pose greatest threat

From January to the end of March, Sophos identified an average of 5,000 new infected webpages every day, indicating that this route to infection is becoming more popular with cybercriminals. With computer users becoming increasingly aware of how to protect against email-aware viruses and malware, hackers have turned to the web as their preferred vector of attack.

The research goes on to highlight China (41.1%) as the worst offender for sites "hosting" malware. The USA came in second with 29.2% and even the UK placed sixth:

1. China 41.1%
2. United States 29.2%
3. Russia 4.6%
4. Germany 4.6%
5. Ukraine 3.9%
6. United Kingdom 3.0%
7. France 2.2%
8. Netherlands 1.9%
9. South Korea 1.3%
10. Taiwan 1.0%
Others 8.1%

The first quarter of 2007 has seen the UK, now responsible for hosting three percent of infected websites, enter this chart for the first time at number six. There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of hacked sites hosted by China, which is now responsible for hosting over a third of all web-based malware, taking top position from the United States that led the chart at the end of 2006.

Typically 70% of malware hosting sites are legitimate ones that have been infected due to poor security or owner maintenance.
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