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China responsible for more security attacks

Attacks originating from the country between July and December 2005 have increased 153 percent over the first half of the year.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

China is fast growing as a source of security attacks, according to a new report by security vendor Symantec.

Symantec's latest Internet Threat Security Report, which tracked security strikes using data gathered from 40,000 sensors worldwide in the second half of 2005, noted a 153-percent increase in attacks originating from China, over the first half of 2005.

In addition, China accounted for 14 percent of all attacks on the Asia-Pacific region during the second half of 2005. It was second only to the United States, which contributed to 37 percent of the attacks on the region.

Between January and June 2005, China was ranked third after the United States and Australia, accounting for 9 percent of attacks on the region. During the same period in 2004, it was ranked fourth.

During the second half of last year, China was also responsible for 8 percent of the attacks worldwide, an increase of 2 percent over the first six months of 2005.

According to Ooi Szu Khiam, Symantec's senior systems engineer in Singapore, the increase in attacks that come from China "is likely a sign that more attackers have become active within the country, and that 'bots' may be an increasing source of this activity".

Symantec reported in September that more computers in the Asia-Pacific region were hijacked and used remotely by hackers to send viruses during the first half of 2005. In China alone, the number of "bot-infected" systems grew more than 140 percent over the same period in 2004.

In terms of spam, the report also highlighted that China has overtaken Korea during the second half of 2005 to become the top spam producer in Asia. This finding is consistent with a report in January from security vendor Sophos. The Chinese government announced last month it would introduce new antispam regulations by the end of March.

In a move to provide information on the risk levels associated with Internet activities, such as Web surfing and e-mail, Symantec introduced last week an online threat meter.

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