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Death of Russian Business Network does little to dent Russian malware machine

London, 18 February, 2008: Analysts at security vendor PC Tools today revealed that Russia has superseded China as the world’s highest producer of spyware and viruses, with Russia now accounting for 27.89% of malware while China accounts for 26.52%.

The UK is up to six in the chart, overtaking France.

Statistics generated using Threat Expert’s automated threat analysis system, suggest that the death of the notorious malware distributor the Russian Business Network (RBN) has done little to curb malware production in the country. Threat Expert has identified a substantial rise in malware originating from Russia, overtaking China for the first time in over a year.

“The vacuum left by the RBN has been filled by other malware distributors,” said Sergei Shevchenko, Malware Research Analyst for PC Tools, who likens Russian malware distributors’ support of cyber-crime to Russian mythology. “Russian mythology refers to a dragon-like creature with three heads, called Zmey Gorynych that requires all three heads to be severed to ensure its death” said Shevchenko

“The bottom line is that there are more viruses and spyware coming out of Russia now than ever before and the complexity of this malware is also increasing” said Shevchenko. “The trend is to produce many variants and flood networks as quickly as possible. The perpetrators can then sit back and see what has landed and which machines will be compromised”

Shevchenko said it is getting more difficult for security analysts to track malware and the demise of RBN was not necessarily a good thing.

“Like many malware researchers we bemoaned the demise of RBN because at least when in existence we could monitor their activity. Now we are seeing Russian malware hosting services being advertised for servers in Malaysia, China, Panama, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and India with ‘shadow’ providers in the US making cyber-crime more complicated to track.”

The World Threat Chart

1. Russia – 27.89%
2. China – 26.52%
3. United States – 9.98%
4. Brazil – 6.77%
5. Ukraine – 5.45%
6. United Kingdom – 5.34%
7. France – 3.81%
8. Germany – 2.14%
9. Sweden - 1.6%
10. Spain – 1.37%

See the Threat Expert world atlas here - http://www.threatexpert.com/map.aspx

Editor’s Note:

The Russian Business Network was shut down in November last year. It had a history of enabling cybercrime and was purported to also host phishing sites and child pornography. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Business_Network

ABOUT THREAT EXPERT

Threat Expert was developed by the same team of professionals who created PC Tools' flagship products, such as PC Tools Spyware Doctor, PC Tools AntiVirus, Registry Mechanic, and many others.

ABOUT PC TOOLS

PC Tools is a global software leader with a cache of security and utility products, including the multi award-winning Spyware Doctor. PC Tools is an industry leader in real-time anti-spyware and has a number of key patents pending.

The PC Tools Malware Research Centre monitors trends and emerging spyware issues and provides security solutions for the consumer and enterprise marketplace. The company is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in San Francisco, London, Shannon (Ireland), Melbourne, Kiev, and Boulder. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.

CONTACT:

Marc Ambasna-Jones
Monument PR Worldwide
t: +44 (0)1225 580141
m: +44 (0)7966 510702
e: marc@monumentpr.com
www.monumentpr.com

Mat Fordy
Monument PR Worldwide
m:+44 (0)7941 001839
t: +44(0)207 953 3800
f: +44 (0)845 280 1492
www.monumentpr.com

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