For a country that already contains ten percent of all Internets
users, China is doing even better when it comes to Internet crime. Some 15
percent of spam last year was traced back to China (according to a Sophos
survey). Some 90 percent of spam is now sent via zombies (PCs secretly taken
over by hackers for this, and other, illegal tasks), which makes it easier to
track down these purloined PCs. Actually, South Korea, with only three percent
of the worlds Internet users, accounted for 7.4 percent of last years spam. But
South Korea is cracking down on the Internet crime, and the amount of bad
behavior is shrinking. The U.S. accounts for 22 percent of the spam (and 15
percent of the world's Internet users.) The U.S. and China both account for a
disproportionate amount of Internet criminal activity. Last year, the U.S.
accounted for 34.2 percent of the hacker attacks, while China accounted for 31
percent. But the real criminal hot spot was Brazil, where two percent of the
planets internet users accounted for 14 percent of the hacker attacks. Russia,
also with about two percent of Internet users, accounted for 4.1 percent of
hacker attacks, but the Russian efforts were the most sophisticated and
effective. So while the Brazilian hackers have quantity, the Russians are
stealing more money via their superior techniques.
U.S. and China make no secret of their recruiting of local hackers for
government security and Cyber War operations. While it's a dubious distinction
to have so many hackers operating in your own back yard, in war time, these
criminals become assets.