Revealed: Sophos’ Top 5 malware countries

Security specialist places UAE at number three

Tags: SophosUnited Arab Emirates
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Revealed: Sophos’ Top 5 malware countries Eschelbeck: Attacks and threats on PCs, Macs and mobile devices continue to evolve as does the technology to combat them.
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 5, 2012

Boston- and Oxford-based security specialist Sophos today released its Security Threat Report 2013, a review of the IT security sector for 2012 and predictions for 2013.

Issues covered in the report include the challenges surrounding escalating cloud migrations and the complex management implications of the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) phenomenon.

2012 was a year of new platforms and modern malware; what was once a homogeneous world of Windows systems, is now a landscape made up of diverse offerings. Modern malware is taking advantage of these trends, creating new challenges for IT security professionals.

The increasing mobility of data in corporate environments has forced IT staff to become even more agile. 2012 was also a retro year driven by resurgence in traditional malware attacks, specifically malware distributed via the Web. For example, more than 80% of attacks were redirects, the majority of which were from legitimate websites that were hacked.

Unprotected computers are vulnerable to different kinds of malware attack.  Exposure to the majority, but not all, comes from simply clicking on links in emails or browsing webpages that happen to be carrying malicious code. 

Although some websites are created with the intention of infecting visitors, legitimate websites continue to be a popular target for cybercriminals, as once they are compromised, they will infect completely unsuspecting Internet users. Based on analysed traffic, SophosLabs, Sophos’ global network of threat intelligence centres, has ranked the riskiest and safest countries for experiencing a malware attack:

Top 5 Riskiest Countries

Rank   Country         TER*

1            Hong Kong      23.54%

2            Taiwan            21.26%

3            UAE                 20.78%                       

4            Mexico            19.81%

5            India                17.44%


Top 5 Safest Countries

Rank    Country        TER*

1             Norway            1.81%

2             Sweden            2.59%

3             Japan               2.63%

4             UK                    3.51%

5             Switzerland     3.81%

*Threat Exposure Rate (TER): Measured as the percentage of PCs that experienced a malware attack, whether successful or failed, over a three month period in 2012.

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