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China u-turns on malware contribution

From hosting about half of world's malware-infected Web sites in 2007, the country now accounts for 27.7 percent, reports security vendor Sophos.

China no longer has the dubious title of hosting the most number of Web sites containing malware, according to a new report from Sophos.

Released Wednesday, Sophos' security threat report (PDF) indicated that China now hosts 27.7 percent of the malware-infected sites in the world, down from about half in 2007.

According to Sophos, China's contribution as host of Web sites containing malware at the end of 2007 stood at 51.4 percent. At the beginning of 2007, the country hosted 31 percent of all infected sites.

Malware code written in Chinese has also decreased to 11.6 percent of all malware, compared to 21 percent in 2007, the company said in the new report.

The United States now accounts for 37 percent of the world's malware-infected Web sites--the single largest contributor to the problem, said Sophos. Nearly three in every eight infected Web pages were hosted in the United States.

South Korea and Thailand also featured among the world's top 10 malware-hosting countries. They were ranked No. 5 and No. 10, respectively.

Separately, Fortinet's November Threatscape report released Tuesday noted that Asian economies made up four of the five most attacked locations in terms of malware. Japan experienced the most malware attacks--nearly 40 percent of all malware tracked by Fortinet were observed in the country. The United States was second on the list, at about 39.6 percent. China, Taiwan and India were also places with significant malware attacks.