U.S. is biggest source of online fraud


More than four-fifths of fraudulent online transactions originate in the U.S. according to a new study.

The latest edition of the VeriSign's Internet Security Intelligence Briefing said that the U.S. tops this chart accounting for 84.9 percent of all fraudulent transactions. Canada came second with 5.2 percent, the U.K. third with 1.1 percent.

The writers of the report said committing fraud from these countries had some advantages for the criminal.

"First, the number of computers with broadband connections is very large in these countries, so many potential criminals have easy access to the internet," said the researchers in the reports. "Second, many of these computers have been compromised with bots, trojan horses or worms, enabling a criminal to use them as an anonymous proxy to commit fraud."

The report also found that the majority of web attacks focused on a few vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows in unpatched MS SQL Server installations, buffer overflows in the Windows LSASS module and unprotected Windows file shares.

Researchers found these file sharing attacks especially interesting as many bots used these vulnerabilities to propagate themselves. The report urged systems administrators to keep security patches up to date, use a firewall and not expose unnecessary services to the internet.

According to a new survey by Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), worries about identity theft and spyware are making U.S. voters wary of the internet and they want Congress to do more to protect them online.

The Verisign report can be found here.

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