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Quick facts on CyberThreats

December 21st, 2005

Some facts on cyber threats from Symantec Corp.´s regular security updates. North American computers are the source of more than half the spam worldwide, most of it related to commercial products such as porn, cut-rate drugs and financial services.

The United States has 30 per cent of the world´s “bots,” computers taken over using viruses that allow the attackers to control vast networks of such machines to launch other kinds of attacks and spam. It´s followed by the United Kingdom, with 22 per cent, and China, seven per cent. Canada has nine per cent of bots in the Americas, behind the U.S. with 75 per cent.

Symantec identified more than 10,000 bot computers a day on average in first half of 2005, double the number in December 2004.

Malicious code exposing confidential information represented 74 per cent of top 50 malicious codes reported in first half of 2005, up from 54 per cent in previous six months.

Number of viruses and worms grew by 142 per cent over same period in 2004.

Detection of phishing attacks — use of fake e-mails purporting to come from banks or other institutions — almost doubled in first half of 2005 compared to last half of 2004, to 1.04 billion.

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