Malware Run Amok

Malware Run Amok

Computer security outfit Symantec (SYMC) wanted to find out which countries are responsible for most of the world's cybercrime. So it began examining where malicious activity took place or originated last year. Symantec learned that countries with the most high-speed Internet connections rank high since constantly connected systems tend to be more attractive to cybercriminals. The top three countries in Symantec's list are the U.S., China, and Germany—all with high concentrations of broadband connections. The U.S. alone accounted for 23% of all malicious computer activity last year. To come up with its ranking, Symantec quantified malicious code, or software that interferes with a computer's normal functioning; it also ranked countries by the presence or creation of so-called spam zombies, computers that have been taken over remotely to send spam to other people. Symantec's report took into account the number of Web sites that host phishing sites designed to trick people into divulging bank account or other personal information, and the number of bot-infected computers that can be controlled by criminals in other locations. Finally, Symantec ranked countries by where attacks were initiated. Read on to see which countries face—or cause—the most cyber-woe.