U.S. tops list of dangerous Internet places

Consumer Reports U.S. tops list of dangerous Internet places U.S. tops list of dangerous Internet places
             The United States topped the list of countries where malicious activity either originated or took place in 2008, according to the Global Internet Security Threat Report released by Symantec.
 Twenty-three percent of all malicious activity occurred in the U.S. in 2008, the report says. China was a distant second, with 9 percent, followed by Germany. The good news: Malicious activity decreased slightly in the U.S. last year. Symantec links the drop to the shutdown of two large U.S.-based Web hosting companies that were associated with a large amount of spam distributions.
 The report highlighted a variety of Internet threats, including bots, computers controlled by cybercriminals without the owners’ knowledge. It doesn’t require a large outlay of cash for cyberthieves to run a network of connected bots, called a botnet. Underground Web sites were selling individual bots for just 4 cents each, according to the report, compared to $1 each in 2007.
 Phishing attempts focused mostly on the financial-services industry, according to the report. In addition, phishers have become better at more closely targeting victims to get them to their phishing sites. In our upcoming report on Internet security, we found that employment-related scams were proliferating as more people are laid off and seeking new jobs.
 Keep yourself safe from these and other threats by following the advice on our Online Security Guide. -Donna Tapellini
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