Hackers Target China, Microsoft Says

Chinese computer users are the major targets of online attackers, according to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report released last week.

The report revealed that the most common system locale for victims of browser-based exploits was Chinese, accounting for 47 percent of all incidents, followed by US English with 23 percent of incidents, in the first half of this year.

China is dominated by potentially unwanted software that targets the Chinese-language market, notably pop-up advertisement toolbars, like Win32/Sogou, and browser modifiers, like Win32/BaiduSobar and Win32/CNNIC, the report said. Many of the most common families in China are Chinese-language threats that don't appear in the list of top threats for any other location, the report added.

Global trends

According to the software vendor, as reported by its Malicious Software Removal Tool, infection rates tend to be higher in developing countries/regions than in developed countries/regions as a general rule.

In the first half of 2008, the total amount of malware and potentially unwanted software removed from computers worldwide increased more than 43 percent compared to second half of last year, Microsoft said.

In addition, patterns of malware detected and removed by Microsoft security products varied across countries and regions; however, Trojan downloaders and droppers constituted more than 30 percent of all malware, the firm added.

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