UK Malware levels rising in buildup to Olympics

The proportion of malicious code hosted on UK servers rose to 5.19% of the global total in the first half of 2011, according to a report released today by M86 Security.

The report noted that, since hosting the World Cup in 2010, the level of malware hosted on South African servers has dropped from 5.28% to just 0.3% of the global total of malware. A corollary rise in malware was predicted and has been noted on UK servers in the buildup to the 2012 Olympics.

Bradley Anstis of M86 said that if there is any correlation between locations of malicious code and the countries that host major sporting event, then the UK would see significant increases in its hosted malware in the lead up to 2012.

"Our analysis showed an increase already starting: the U.K share rose from 3.34% in the second half of 2010, up to 5.19% in the first half of 2011. We believe that this trend will continue as we get closer to the event in 2012," Anstis said.

However, Graham Cluley, a Sophos analyst and expert in viruses and spam, said there could be any number of reasons behind the apparent increase in malware levels in the UK.

“If there were some malicious ISP out in Taiwan who used to be hosting lost of malicious pages, and now they’ve cracked down on it, that could impact everyone else’s figures,” Cluley said. “Those figures may just be purely coincidence.

“Anyway, I don’t actually think it makes much difference to UK web users where the malware is hosted. There will obviously be Olympic games ticket scams, videos, live footage and all kinds of things which I’m sure will be exploited in the run up to the Olympic games."

"The truth is that wherever you go on the web, you’re going to have to scan those webpages to see if they contain something malicious, because it can be well trusted websites which become infected.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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