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Spam Levels in Australia Overtake that of US

According to MessageLabs' recently released security report, Australia is a highly targeted country worldwide in terms of cyber attacks, with more spam attacks in the country, about 87.8% compared to the US, which accounted for 79.4% of the total global spam.

The report also states that Australia is the 8th highest distributor of Trojan horses, while one out of every 250 incoming e-mails in the country carries malware, a 0.1% higher than the world average.

Additionally, Australia is haven to a number of immensely active cyber crime gangs, which utilize confidential information of the Australian culture and businesses to frame persuasive phishing assaults, and to transmit considerable amount of spam and malicious programs.

Moreover, the security company's research shows that approximately 25% of malicious programs coming into the Australian inboxes are distributed from inside the country itself. It (the research) also observes the same situation in New Zealand as well.

However, the report noted, while Australia is the world's No.7 country for malware distribution, New Zealand is at No.67. Thus, it concludes that Australia houses the most cyber crime gangs in the world, adding that locally devised phishing attacks that involve bogus banking websites, bear an improved possibility of scamming users.

Nevertheless, this claim is uncertain as malware could be sent by offshore attackers who might use hijacked computers located in Australia, said some security specialists.

In addition, bot-infected networks in Australia spew approximately 80% of the total local spam. The report also reveals that majority of the bot-infected PCs in the country are parts of the Cutwail and Mega-D botnets.

On any bad day, the researchers at MessageLabs said, Australia could be attacked with 50% of the global cyber attacks, at an average rate of 3%. The report also states that Australia is a 'technologically progressive country,' which makes it a favorable target for distributors of botnets.

Regarding the future, the researchers predicted, strong competition would give rise to more viruses and botnet attacks during 2009, while 'ransomware' attacks are also expected to rise locally in Australia.

Therefore, users are recommended that they take all precautionary steps against such attacks.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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