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Italy - Sixth Largest Country to Host Maximum Malware

Sophos has released its malware report for June 2007, which shows China as the leading country in hosting the largest amount of malware online. An interesting observation in the report is that although Italy hosted only 1% of the total malware in the world, it found a place in the top ten occupying the sixth position for the first time.

While China maintains its top position in the June malware chart, Italy entered the top ten countries hosting most malware largely because the country suffered a huge number of iFrame attacks on its servers. The iFrame attack was launched on numerous Italian websites when 10,000 web pages were contaminated with malware. These web pages largely belonged to legitimate websites that Italian servers hosted.

Hopefully, the Italian iFrame assault would alert Internet Service Providers worldwide, said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. Dumping of malicious code on these Italian websites is bound to infect innocent surfers sometime. The security of websites should be like that of Fort Knox. However, right now, cyber criminals are easily picking up on a large number of web pages, said Theriault, as published by Sophos.com on July 2, 2007.

Sophos report shows that iFrame is in the third place in the list of malware chart. It accounts for 10% of the confirmed e-mail worms. The spread of iFrame infection is not only confined via the Web for it has been found in e-mail malware too. Hackers embed this malware into e-mails through HTML to harm users.

While it is true that China hosts the major proportion of infected web pages in the world, other countries too should not get satisfied with their success, said Theriault in a statement that M&C published on July 3, 2007.

Since Italy has climbed to the top ten, it calls for countries across the globe to spread awareness among ISPs and website administrators about the critical need for securing them against web attacks, Theriault added.

As blended threats increase and also spam and phishing attacks grow in numbers, it has become vital to educate end users about ways by which they can optimally protect themselves, Sophos said.

Related article: Italy Police Arrests an Organized Phishing Gang

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