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Symantec Study Shows Substantial Fall in Malware-Ridden Internet Sites

According to Symantec, which recently released its Intelligence Report for 2012, there were 2,102 websites daily throughout January 2012 which hosted malware, falling substantially from the number in December 2011. And though malware-ridden websites were fewer compared to December 2011, phishing and spam attacks had increased, reported The Inquirer in news on January 26, 2012.

Moreover, as increasing numbers of web-oriented malware were detected, fresh websites that were blocked declined, while there was a higher rate of new malicious programs although at first on less number of websites.

Additional analysis shows that there were 39.9% new, malevolent domains that were shutdown during January 2012, accounting for a 4.8% drop in contrast with December 2011. Also, there were 15.2% new, web-oriented malicious programs that were prevented during January 2012, accounting for a 0.7% rise from December 2011.

Reportedly, Symantec's study is based on data related to around 8bn e-mails along with around 1bn Web requests that 15 data centers process daily. These data consisted of malevolent codes that were gathered from around 130m computers across 86 nations.

A malware, which was most often prevented during January 2012, is the WS.Trojan.H virus. This one represents a general cloud-based heuristic infection wherein the infected files bear features of a threat, still unclassified.

Furthermore, Symantec reports that during January 2012, there were 29% e-mails carrying malicious software that had web-links leading onto hostile sites, the percentage being constant from December 2011. Further, the country with the maximum number of such e-mail-borne malware was Holland at the rate of 1 e-mail in 61.4 messages recognized to be malware-laced. UK followed on No.2 having 1 e-mail in 169.1 messages recognized as malware-laced.

In South Africa, the rate of e-mails stopped for being malevolent was 1 in 305.9 messages. In USA it was 1 in 592.5, while in Canada, it was 1 in 285.4. In Denmark and Germany, virus activity represented 1 in 318.1 and 1 in 471.7 respectively. In Japan, 1 in 1,573 e-mails featured as malevolent whereas in Australia, the number of malicious e-mails was 1 in 327.9, in Singapore -1 in 482.9, and in Brazil -1 in 681.7.

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

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