Feeds

Mexico and Africa to become malware hotspots

It's the socio-economy, stupid

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Central America, India, China and Africa are likely to become the hotspots of malware production and cybercrime over the next five years, according to an analysis by net security firm F-secure.

The majority of cybercriminals currently operate from Russia, China and Southern America. The former Soviet republics have become fertile breeding groups for botnet client creation. For example, the activities of the Storm Worm gang are centered in Russia. Meanwhile, Brazil has become a hotspot for the creation of phishing Trojans. Old-school virus writers operated from areas in Europe (countries such as Bulgaria were hotspots in the early-mid 1990s, for example), United States, Australia and India.

The former Soviet Republic, China and Southern America have been hotspots of malware creation since around 2003, when malware for profit replaced mischief as a motive for creating computer viruses. Each of the regions contained individuals with sophisticated computing skills but without the job opportunities to make a living for themselves in the IT sector.

F-Secure reckons cybercrime will continue to be the main motive for malware creation over the next five years, but predicts that an alignment between broadband penetration and socio-economic factors such as economic development and lack of IT employment opportunities will see activity in the underground economy shifting towards India, Mexico and Africa.

In many countries, there will be a delay before the legal system catches up with developments in the IT sector. Computer criminals may also be able to escape the law more easily in countries which are undergoing serious political or economic upheavals.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, reckons malware creation hotspots are defined by a number of socio-economic causes – particularly in terms of job opportunities.

"Within the last few years, internet take-up in emerging markets has been phenomenal," Hypponen explained. "For example, Brazil now has over two million internet users. Since 2003, computer crime has really taken off in Brazil, China and the former Soviet countries.

"The trend is expected to continue and spread into areas such as Africa, India and Central America," he went on. "This is partly due to the limited IT job prospects in these markets. People are developing sophisticated computer skills, but have limited opportunities to profit from them legally." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.