John

Malaysia: Home of The Zombie Bots

In News on April 25, 2008 at 4:06 am

Don’t read much of the papers these days, and it was only thanks to my colleagues that I picked up this interesting piece of news that Malaysia ranks as a Top 5 country when it comes to harboring Spam Zombies. “96% of computers in the country are zombie machines,” according to the survey carried out by Symantec, although I can’t shake off the suspicious nature of this scare-tactic headline.

Little details were revealed on how the survey was carried out (“The survey was carried out between July and December last year, involved Symantec setting up two million decoy e-mail accounts worldwide”) so it could be very well rigged in favour of the company. Still, it’s cause for concern.

So protect yourself and surf safe: Get yourself an AVG programme, thrash IE, and get NoScript. Oh, and to understand how Spam Bots are created, TWiT’s programme with Steve Gibson gives you a great explanation without being too techie.

From The Star:

Malaysia is one of the most prolific distributors of spam and propagators of “spam zombies” in the Asia-Pacific region, revealed a recent survey.

It ranks No 5 as a spam distributor, among 29 countries. Topping this list is the Philippines, followed by Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Laos, according to the survey by security solutions vendor Symantec Corp.

As a propagator of zombie machines, Malaysia is No 7 on the list. Topping it is China, followed by South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

These are PCs that have been compromised by hackers and used to launch spam e-mail, or phishing messages that lure computer users to mistakenly reveal personal information such as credit card details or bank account passwords.

Kannan Velayutham, a consultant for enterprise security at Symantec Malaysia, said the survey showed that 96% of computers in the country are zombie machines.

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