Hackers target countries with high computer usage and good broadband

4 January 2012

Recent news has featured a study that demonstrated that more than 20% of all computers in one country can be infected with malware and controlled by malware developers. That conclusion is from an OECD report that was published in May 2010. The purpose of that study was to discover which countries and what Internet Service Providers were the source of most malware attacks.

It can be very difficult to calculate accurately how many computers in one country are infected. But the method used in this study seems logical and well executed. The proportion in each country could though be even bigger than this study indicates. An infected computer can cause the owner a lot of trouble and bother, make the computer unusable, steal valuable data, and spread malware to other users. The importance of good computer security is undeniable.

The infected computers in this study were a part of what is called a botnet and used to distribute spam e-mail, Trojan horses, and make other digital attacks. Owners are often completely unaware that their computers are being used for these purposes. Though, it can happen that a users notices unusual internet traffic from his own computer or even higher bills.

Many ISPs disconnect customers when they suspect that their computers are a part of a botnet like this. Those who run the botnets have, in many cases, responded by spreading the net even wider and make sure that each individual machine only send a few e-mails a day. In such volumes the infection doesn’t draw attention to itself and lets the controller of the botnet use the computer for his crimes for a longer period of time.

ISPs are far from being the only way to decrease the volume of spam e-mail and illegal botnets. For a normal user it is very important to use antivirus software and an active firewall to decrease the chances of infection.

We, of course, recommend our antivirus program, F-PROT Antivirus, and you can download a free trial here from our website.

You can also find on our support web some guidelines for safe computing.

Commtouch® is a leading developer of anti virus software and anti spam filtering services. Commtouch's anti virus computer software, F-PROT Antivirus, is available for a number of operating systems such as Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, and AIX as well as the Microsoft Exchange groupware.

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