International co-operation vital as malware sources disperse

Attackers are spreading their operational bases further around the world. During October, malware levels remained high, but threats originating from the “traditional’ top sources of malware (the US, China, Korea and Brazil) were all down on last month.

Spam

The level of spam originating from the US has dropped by three per cent in October, making the US now the fifth largest producer of spam. This is a significant decrease from a country that until recently was producing by far the greatest amount of spam. The fastest-rising spam threat now comes from Vietnam, now number two in the spam charts, producing 7.5 per cent of the world’s spam. This is just 0.4 per cent behind Brazil, still at number one.

China and Korea continue to vie for title of third largest source of spam, but both countries have seen a decline in spam levels (China down by two per cent and Korea down by one per cent).

Phishing

Network Box’s analysis of internet threats in October 2009 also clearly shows a drop of eight per cent in phishing attacks globally (from 33.2 per cent in September to 25.2 per cent in October).

Viruses

Brazil, the US and Korea are still dominating the virus charts as the top three sources of viruses, but all three countries have seen a drop of around two per cent month-on-month in virus activity. India continues to be a significant source of viruses, with 3.7 per cent originating from the sub-continent. Italy and Romania have entered the virus charts for the first time, producing 2.16 and 1.75 per cent respectively.

Simon Heron, Internet Security Analyst for Network Box says: “Phishing attacks are down from September’s high levels, but users and IT teams must still be vigilant. We’re seeing fewer malware attacks from the usual top sources, as malware producers spread their operations from traditional hubs such as the US and China. This highlights, once again, the importance of international co-operation in tackling malware.”

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