According to the Kaspersky Lab’s research into IT threats during the first quarter of 2011, the number of web-borne attacks blocked stood at 254,932,299. Notably, 89 per cent of all web resources used for hosting malware were detected in just 10 countries. The United States still tops this list – between January and March 2011, the share of malicious hosting sites in the US increased by 1.7 per cent. The bulk of the malicious content is located on compromised legitimate sites. The number of malicious hosting sites continued to fall in China and Germany, with the volume of web attacks originating from the two countries falling by 3.33 and 3.28 per cent respectively compared to the final quarter of 2010.
Those facing the highest risk of infection via the Internet were users in Russia and Oman. Nearly every second computer in those two countries became the target of a web attack during the first three months of the year. Other high-risk countries included Iraq, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The safest countries for Internet surfing were Japan, Germany, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg.
During the first quarter of 2011, Kaspersky Lab’s solutions successfully blocked 412,790,509 attempted local infections of users’ computers connected to the Kaspersky Security Network. The Top 10 list of countries where users’ computers were exposed to the highest risk of local infections consisted entirely of Asian and African countries. First place in the ranking is occupied by various malicious programs detected with the help of cloud-based technologies. These technologies work when a malicious program first enters circulation and the antivirus databases do not have signatures or heuristic tools to detect it; at this time, information about this malware may well exist in the cloud.
The main point of interest in the Top 10 vulnerabilities detected on users’ computers was the presence of just a single Microsoft product vulnerability in 8th place. Vulnerabilities in Adobe products occupied a total of five positions in the list, including 1st and 2nd places.
“The statistics collected from computers belonging to KSN subscribers show that users’ computers in the developing countries are at the highest risk of both local and web-borne infection. With local infections, the groups within the maximum and high risk brackets consist exclusively of developing countries. In the countries that fall into the maximum risk bracket, local threats are blocked on over 60 per cent of all computers that have Kaspersky Lab’s security products installed on them, while the corresponding figure for the high risk bracket is 40-60 per cent. IT risks are increasing rapidly in these countries, and levels of IT security awareness may not always advance at the same pace,” explains Yury Namestnikov, Kaspersky Lab expert and author of the quarterly report. “However, the most advanced Trojans such as TDSS, Sinowal and Zbot, etc., primarily target users in developed countries, including the US, Germany, the UK, Italy, France and Spain. It is the digital wallets of users living in these countries that the cybercriminals are really after.”
Click here to view the full version of spam in the first quarter of 2011.