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China was the source of the most malware sent in January and Trojans were the most prevalent form

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Chinese cyber criminals were the most prolific source of digital pollution on the internet in January 2010.

Research by Kaspersky Lab found that in January 2010, China topped the list with a 36.2 per cent share of malware infecting the internet. The nearest specific originator of malware was Russia at 5.8 per cent, with the UK only attributing 2.4 per cent of the global total.

David Emm a member of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab, said: “The results may be surprising for some as traditionally there has been an assumption that a lot of malware and digital pollution came from Russia and eastern European countries.

“Our figures suggest the largest share comes from China – which at 36.2 per cent is much bigger than any of the other single countries on the list. Another myth it dispels is that digital pollution only emanates from poorer economies – eminent world economic giants such as the USA and China, as well as the leading EU members Germany, UK and France are all featured in the list. ”

Meanwhile statistics from Sunbelt Software's ThreatNet have revealed that in January, the malware landscape remained remarkably similar to December. Its top seven detections were the same as December, but in a slightly different order. In December and January, six of the top ten detections were Trojan horse programs.

It said that Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT, a generic detection for Trojans, comprised nearly one quarter (23.15 per cent) of all the malware found. It remained in the top position for the third month in a row, growing by nearly 20 per cent from 18.69 per cent of all detections in December.

After holding the top spot on the list for most of 2009, the password-stealing Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.gen held the second position on the list for the third consecutive month, decreasing from 6.23 to 4.91 per cent of all detections.

Michael St. Neitzel, Sunbelt Software's vice president of threat research, said: “I think we can expect to see Trojan horse programs continue to be the top detections for the foreseeable future. Trojans are used to download and install a wide variety of other malware and those are the real money-makers for the bad guys.”

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