By January 22, 2007

Sophos – “USA Worst for Malware & Spam Relaying”

Sophos, has published its Security Threat Report 2007, examining the threat landscape during the previous twelve months, and predicting malware and spam developments for 2007. The report reveals that the U.S. hosts more than one third of the websites containing malicious code identified during 2006, as well as relays more spam than any other nation.

Notable findings from Sophos’s Security Threat Report include:

  • 90% of all spam is now relayed from zombie computers
  • U.S. maintains top slot for relaying majority of spam (22%)
  • Sophos detected 41,536 new pieces of malware in 2006 (total protected against 207,684)
  • Trojans now outnumber Windows viruses and worms by 4:1
  • The percentage of infected emails declined from 1 in 44 in 2005 vs. 1 in 337 in 2006
  • With the U.S. and China representing nearly two-thirds of such threats, the top ten countries hosting web-based malware during 2006 were:

    Position Country Percentage
    1 United States
    2 China
    3 Russian Federation
    3 Netherlands
    5 Ukraine
    6 France
    7 Taiwan
    8 Germany
    9 Hong Kong
    10 Korea
    Others 10.5%

    “The U.S. market is undeniably a target for online criminal activity. More and more, organizations with U.S.-based websites are falling victim to targeted attacks,” said Ron O’Brien, senior security analyst for Sophos. “Anticipating this trend, Sophos released the first all-in-one web control platform, the WS1000, earlier this year in an effort to give companies the ability to provide trusted content security, application control and URL
    filtering in a single appliance solution.”

    In addition to hosting the largest number of malicious websites, the U.S. continues to top the list of worst spam-relaying nations. While the U.S. has made progress in its efforts to reduce spam-relaying statistics, there was still more spam sent from U.S. computers in 2006 than any other single nation.

    The top twelve spam-relaying countries during 2006 were:

    Position Country Percentage
    1 United States
    2 China (incl Hong Kong)
    3 South Korea
    3 France
    5 Spain
    6 Poland
    7 Brazil
    8 Italy
    9 Germany
    10 United Kingdom
    =11 Russia
    =11 Taiwan
    Others 24.4%

    Sophos experts note that up to 90% of all spam is now relayed from zombie computers, hijacked by Trojan horses, worms and viruses under the control of hackers. This means that they do not need to be based in the same country as the computers being used to send the spam.

    The full report can be found HERE.


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    More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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