Chinese Government Report Reveals Computer Virus And Spam Crisis, Sophos Comments

A report released by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security today reveals that 87.9% of computers in the country were infected with a virus this year.

The official figures reflect the huge popularity of the internet in China, with in excess of 68 million surfers, as more and more viruses spread themselves via email and the internet. This is in spite of many viruses continuing to tempt users to double-click on their attachments using English language.

According to the report, the hardest hitting viruses were the Sasser and Netsky worms. A German teenager has been charged in connection with the creation and distribution of these viruses which struck computer users hard around the world earlier this year.

Meanwhile, 36% of security incidents were said to have been caused by massive spam transmissions. A study issued by Sophos last month revealed that China was the third biggest exporter of spam – with spammers regularly hacking into innocent users’ computers to send out unwanted bulk email.

“Wherever you are in the world you cannot escape the menace of viruses and spam. It is essential that you protect your computer with the latest anti-virus updates and anti-spam software,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “Chinese computers which are not properly protected are passing on viruses to the rest of the world, and acting as a springboard for spammers wishing to exploit computers to pump out email sewage.”

The Chinese government survey collected information from more than 7,000 departments, including those in commerce, education and research, finance, government, and telecommunications. In addition more than 8,400 computer users were also surveyed.

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