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Symantec - Netherlands Second Country Generating Most Web-based Attacks

According to the latest EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec, the Netherlands was at the No.2 position as far as generating Web-based attacks were concerned within EMEA during 2008, with a 19% share in the regional aggregate.

However, although the Netherlands has this high ranking, in terms of global percentage in 2008, the country contributes just 8%.

This high ranking, says Symantec, is probably because of an attack carried out through computers and servers hosted in the Netherlands in 2008.

Besides, the attack triggered remote execution of several arbitrary codes by exploiting the security flaws in Abobe Acrobat software using both e-mail and browser mediums. The wide acceptance of Adobe Acrobat PDF files is probably an issue of relevance for attackers who prefer this kind of assault.

Symantec also explains that the attack made use of banner ads to load a Trojan virus from a Netherlands-hosted website. Accordingly, as the Trojan is loaded on the user's PC, it deactivates antivirus programs and changes file contents on it. Further, it makes copies of critical files as well as renames itself to bypass detection. This enables the virus controller to gain access to the infected computer.

Additionally, Symantec reports that the PC virus that caused the maximum infections in the Netherlands during 2008 was the Auraax worm.

Commenting on the methods that cyber criminals in the Netherlands adopt for malware distribution, Symantec researchers stated online crooks are profiting from customized threats that they continuously develop and disseminate. According to them, there is a rapid growth in malicious codes within the country as attackers constantly modify their malware distribution techniques and some hackers particularly prefer the Netherlands as a base to launch website-based assaults.

Further, according to Symantec, the Netherlands is also behind a major proportion of spam that increased to 78%, larger than any other country within the region.

Presently, the Netherlands is the haven for malware distributors, hackers, scammers and other cyber criminals. With the worldwide boom of cyber crime, security experts apprehend that there will be more malware attacks in and from Netherlands in future.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

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