China no longer greatest spammer in the world

Ken Wong
18 Dec 2008

Sophos has published its Security Threat Report 2009 examining the threat landscape over the last twelve months.

According to the report, The US overtook China as the country hosting and sending the most spam. More spam is hosted on American websites and more spam is relayed from American computers, than any other country relaying 17.5 percent of all unsolicited email and hosting 37% of the global total. China did however lead the Asian countries in the list coming in second as the country hosting the most malware sites. Other Asian countries in the top ten were South Korea (fifth) and Thailand (tenth).

2008 saw another stellar year in the number of attacks from cyber criminals with attackers tripled the number of attacks against sites and a rise in hackers spamming out malicious attachments, designed to compromise PCs in order to steal identities, money and resources. By the end of 2008, Sophos was tracking five times more malicious attacks arriving through files attached to emails than at the start of the year. Attackers are also showing greater interest in social networking site like Facebook. On average, Sophos identified five new malicious websites every day, with the figure peaking at over 20 per day on occasion.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos said that, 'The last year proved beyond doubt that internet hacking gangs are organised like never before, often working across borders to steal money and data from unsuspecting users. The volume of attacks has increased, with hackers using automated systems to break into vulnerable websites or generate new variants of their malware," continued Cluley. "People need to wake up to the reality that the completely legitimate website they are visiting could be harbouring a dangerous malware infection planted by hackers. As we enter 2009 we are not expecting to see these assaults diminish. As economies begin to enter recession it will be more important than ever for individuals and businesses to ensure that they on guard against internet attack."

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