RealTime IT News

South America Emerges As Cybercrime Hotspot

When you think of countries that are notorious for creating and hosting malicious Web sites and content, the short list usually includes Ukraine, China, Vietnam and, of course, the U.S.

But as eSecurity Planet discovered, South and Central American countries like Honduras and Argentina are hosting and serving up malware as a much higher percentage of their total Internet traffic than virtually every other country.

On-demand security software vendor Zscaler's latest "State of the Web" report also found that enterprises are still reluctant to migrate from Microsoft's IE6 browser to IE8, creating a bunch of security gaps and vulnerabilities that hackers and malware purveyors have been all-too-happy to attack.

By and large, enterprises and consumers can expect more botnet attacks, sophisticated phishing scams and malware-embedded sites and search engine results as hackers become more clever and proficient at plying their illicit trade.

Malware syndicates in China have been implicated in a number of recent high-profile, targeted cyber attacks against American companies and organizations but the latest data from security software vendor Zscaler indicates a new and equally dangerous threat is emerging in South and Central America.

In its first-quarter "State of the Web" report, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Zscaler went beyond the surface to provide some meaningful analysis and context for enterprises struggling to safeguard their data networks from organized groups of hackers and phishers who are exploiting both lax local enforcement and a laissez-faire attitude by international hosting companies to steal identities, assets and intellectual property.

To no one's surprise, the Zscaler report pegs the U.S. as the leading source of malicious traffic including botnets, worms and aggravating SQL-injection attacks. But it's South and Central American countries that are hosting malware-infected sites at a much higher percentage of their total traffic.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Malware is South America's New Growth Industry