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Korea reigns as king of malware threats

06 April 2010

The US has lost its place atop the leader board as the chief source of malware in March, as research from Network Box indicates Korea – mainly South Korea – can now claim the top spot when phishing attempts are included in the statistics.

Security services provider Network Box, in its analysis of March internet threats, said that Korea was the source of the most malware as a percentage for the month, coming in at just under one-third (31.1%) of all viruses being distributed via the internet. This was far above the 8.9% of malware that Network Box data showed for Korea-based malware sources in February.

The US did not fall far from the top of the standings, coming in second on the list of malware producers with 9.34%.

According to Network Box, results for Korea include malware distributed from both North and South Korea. However, as the company noted, the phishing emails delivering the malware threats come from botnets, which require computers on a public internet, and widespread public access to the internet is not available in North Korea.

In addition, Simon Heron, an internet security analyst for Network Box, said that his company’s data includes phishing attempts in its virus statistics, “which some [other] companies do not.”

“We’ve seen Korea increasing its malware production over the last few months”, noted Heron. “But March has seen a concerted effort to increase the production of phishing attacks globally”.

Network Box said the reason for the sharp uptick in malware from Korea comes chiefly from an increase in the number of computers that are being infected within the region. As a result, these infected machines have been sending out phishing emails around the world, causing Korea to rocket to the top spot in the company’s tracking of malware sources.

This article is featured in:
Malware and Hardware Security


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