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Spam and malware from the U.S. & China increasing rapidly

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January 23, 2007

A new Internet security report released by Sophos reveals that, on average, e-mail spam and malware are increasing rapidly, and that much of it comes from the U.S., while the second-worst offender is China. Together, the two countries are responsible for the majority of all Internet-based malware.

"Overall, the U.S. market is undeniably a big target for online criminal activity," said Ron O'Brien of Sophos. "Increasingly, organizations with U.S.-based Web sites are falling victim to targeted attacks."

In addition to hosting the largest number of malicious Web sites, the United States continues to top the list of worst spam-relaying nations. While making progress in efforts to reduce spam relaying, there was still more spam sent from U.S. computers last year than any other single nation.

However, Sophos analysts note that up to 90 percent of all spam is now relayed from zombie computers, hijacked by Trojan horses, worms or viruses under the control of potential hackers. That means that they don't need to be based in the same country as the computers being used to send the spam.

"Cyber criminals are seeking new ways to distribute malware and the Internet just seems to be the logical environment as mounting applications and social sites keep end users active on the Web," said Mr. O'Brien.

"From streaming audio/video to file-sharing sites online, businesses face a growing challenge in protecting their networks."

Source: The Register

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