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US tops botnet charts but UK is still in running

Sophos and Microsoft figures show the UK still needs to wipe its bots.

Botnets

The UK is still a cause for concern when it comes to botnets, despite the US holding the worst record, reports from Microsoft and security firm Sophos have agreed.

In the Sophos league for spamming, the UK stood at number five, accounting for five per cent of the world's junk email. Above that came France, Brazil and India but their combined spamming exploits is almost equalled by the US alone. The Stateside computers dumped 18.6 per cent of the world's spam between July and September this year.

When the whole continent was taken into account, North America only came third behind Asia. It was Europe that topped this list as the source of a third of the world's spam.

It was not surprising, therefore, that Microsoft's study of the botnet population also placed the US as the main culprit. During the second quarter of this year, over two million computers were hosting bots. Even Brazil, in second place, only had half a million infections.

This time the UK had a better ranking, though a still-shameful seventh with 251,406 unclean PCs.

The better side of the Microsoft report was things had improved slightly over the first quarter of 2010 but only slightly in Britain's case.

The most prevalent botnets Rimecud, Alureon and Hamweq all showed a decline between the two quarters but fourth-placed Pushbot bucked the trend. This bot spreads through instant messaging applications such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Infections showed a 24 per cent increase showing botnets are set to be with us for some time.

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