A few days ago, the official Chinese media reported that Shanghai’s Intermediate Court sentenced three malware producers, who used Trojan horse software to steal money from victim’s bank accounts (all Chinese banks), to between six and a half and eight years of prison time. The three apparently stole more than 100,000 yuan. Considering that the average monthly salary in the affluent first tier cities is approximately 4,000 yuan, it’s a pretty hefty sum. Researchers have been noticing an increase of spyware and malware from China. Cyveillance, an Internet threat monitoring company, reported a rapid increase of malware hosting sites in China. An interesting fact is that the majority of world’s malware distribution sites are still in US and Europe, but they point to malware hosting sites in Asian countries such as China. This is especially interesting because it points to the fact that hackers from those countries are compromising high traffic Websites in the US and Europe to help distribute malware (the difference between malware distribution and hosting site is that the former typically contains a link or a small amount of code that points to a hosting site). The use of malware distribution and landing sites (as opposed to a straightforward malware hosting site) is a newer and more stealthy way to distribute malware, which only became popular in 2007.
I am publishing an Internet threat report soon (currently in editing). The report will highlight recent malware, phishing, and spam threats. I spent a lot of time combining reports, data, and statistics from many different sources to present a balanced view across the industry. So stay tuned for our first ever threat report, which will be updated once every year.