Red Alert

When it comes to computer-attack traffic, China deserves the bulk of the blame, but not all of it.

Ten countries including China accounted for three-quarters of the world’s cyber-assault traffic during the last quarter of 2012, according to Akamai Technologies, which helps companies speed the delivery of online content.

While detecting the source of an attack can be difficult — cyber criminals can launch online assaults from infected computers around the world — knowing the country of origin can provide an important clue in ultimately determining the identity of a hacker.

Here’s a look at which countries made the top 10 list.

10. Hungary

Hungary accounted for 1.4 percent of the world’s attack traffic in the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 10th place. It narrowly beat out South Korea. Hungary’s percentage was unchanged from the previous and year-ago quarters.

10. Hungary

 

9. Italy

Italy accounted for 1.6 percent of the world’s attack traffic in the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 9th place. Italy’s share decreased slightly from 1.7 percent in the previous quarter and 1.9 percent in the year-ago period.

9. Italy

 

8. India

India accounted for 2.3 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 8th place. India’s share decreased from 2.5 percent in the previous quarter and 3 percent in the year-ago period.

8. India

 

7. Romania

Romania accounted for 2.8 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 7th place. Romania’s share increased from 2.7 percent in the previous quarter and 2.6 percent in the year-ago period.

Several news reports have described Ramnicu Valcea, a town in Romania, as a haven for cyber criminals.

7. Romania

6. Brazil

Brazil accounted for 3.3 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 6th place. Brazil’s share fell from 3.8 percent in the previous quarter and 4.4 percent in the year-ago period.

6. Brazil

5. Taiwan

Taiwan, which China considers to be a province, accounted for 3.7 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the region in 5th place. Taiwan’s share dropped from 4.5 percent in the previous quarter and 7.5 percent in the year-ago period.

While Taiwan is a top source of attack traffic, it is also a popular target. Research by the security firm Sophos found that 12.7 percent of computers in Taiwan had been attacked by malware during a three-month study last year.

5. Taiwan

 

4. Russia

Russia accounted for 4.3 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 4th place. Russia’s share decreased from 4.7 percent in the previous quarter and 6.8 percent in the year-ago period.

At least 40 companies including Apple, Facebook and Twitter were targeted in malware attacks linked to a cyber criminal group based in Russia or Eastern Europe, according to a recent Bloomberg News report

4. Russia.

 

3. Turkey

Turkey accounted for 4.7 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 3rd place. Turkey’s share increased from 4.3 percent in the previous quarter and fell from 5.6 percent in the year-ago period.

3. Turkey

2. United States

The U.S. accounted for 10 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, putting the country in 2nd place. The U.S.’s share dropped from 13 percent in the previous quarter and matched its percentage from the year-ago period.

The U.S. is home to members of some of the world’s most notorious hacker groups, including Anonymous and AntiSec.

2. United States

 

1. China

China accounted for 41 percent of the world’s attack traffic during the fourth quarter of last year, making the country the top source of cyber assaults. China’s share increased from 33 percent in the previous quarter and 13 percent in the year-ago period, according to Akamai.

Investigations have discovered a sophisticated hacker network in China. Some members are connected to China’s military, though the extent of these official operations is unknown. The government and its state-run media continue to deny China’s involvement in international hacking incidents.

1. China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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