Europe home to majority of zombies

Not the flesh-eating kind...

Not the flesh-eating kind...

Europe was home to more hacker-controlled (zombie) computers in May than anywhere else in the world, according to vendor research.

Zombie computers are typically infected with viruses and used to send spam and perform denial of service attacks.

Using a tool that can track zombie machines, CipherTrust found that 26 per cent of them were hosted in European countries, with most of them in Germany (six per cent), France (five per cent) and the UK (three per cent).

The company's ZombieMeter found that hackers were hijacking around 172,009 computers every day. Approximately 20 per cent of those machines were based in the United States, and 15 per cent were found in China. CipherTrust did not provide details of where the attackers resided.

Until this month, the company said the largest percentage of zombies alternated between China and the United States.

International trade associations are currently urging internet service providers (ISPs) to stamp out zombie networks of computers used for sending spam.

Members of the London Action Plan (LAP), which include the UK Office of Fair Trading, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and government agencies in 18 other countries, have launched Operation Spam Zombies - a campaign to make ISPs quarantine customer computers used to send spam.