J. Micah Grunert

Monday, March 19th, 2007


Turns out that most of the hackers in the world live in the United States. Who'd have thunk it!

We've all heard stories of some overseas hacker tossing a few lines of malicious code at some big US company or site and crippling their infrastructure. We've even heard of how the United States has gone after those out of country hackers, nabbing them in the middle of the night and declaring proudly on CNN that their efforts helped to foil future cyber attacks. And the subsequent expert who sits before a camera and preaches of the ills within the cyber terrorist communities and how law enforcement is making a concerted effort to bring down hacker across the globe. But it turns out that most of the hackers reside in the land of stars and stripes.

A recent study released by Symantic, the official voice on viruses and Trajan and cyber attacks, indicates that the United States generates more malicious computer activity than any other country in the world. Even more disconcerting, these American hackers are linked together in elaborate networks that make the Russian Mafia look like the Stepford Housewives (no offense comrades, I'm part Russian myself).

MrZodiac: I've been ordained Mayor of Security Town by the UN sub divisional task force on cyber crime divison and even I'm not sure what a Trajan is or who Symantic is, though maybe they're a subdivision of Symantec. (no offense comrade, I'm part bullshit myself)

As a part of their bi-yearly report or malicious computer activity, Symantic reported that about a third of all the computer attacks recorded world wide originated within the United States, specifically noting the months in the second half of 2006. In comparison, China is responsible for about 10% of attacks, and Germany around seven. Russia didn't even see the top three, and Canada was (presumably) even further down the list.

Jericho: So if 1/3 of all 'cyber attacks' are initiated in the US, that means 2/3 are not? Ignoring of course the whole 'hacker' term being used for virus/worm writers, criminals conducting phishing attacks, spammers, etc.

MrZodiac: Don't get me wrong, we still pwn the hell out of things though.

Some of the reason for this heightened activity stems from the amount of "bot network activity", computer systems that become mindless hacking drones, reaching out to infect other systems on the Interweb. Also, the US is home to more than half of the world's "underground economy servers" which are corporate servers that have been hijacked to facilitate illicit transactions using stolen data.

Jericho: Consider the number of 'always on' broadband connections available across the US. If the US has 10x the number of DSL lines as Ugazandachech, then it stands to reason we'll have 10x the number of bots..

cji: Or the ability to adminster botnets outside of the geographical region where the majority may reside.

Maybe the fact that Microsoft Windoze is an American product might have something to do with it too.

cji: M$ Windoze?

MrZodiac: All this needs is a George Bush joke:
Q:LOL, why r Americans so dumb?
A:ZOMG George Bush lulz

Errata@ got a kick out of this so we translated some of the e-mail traffic over to what you see above. Props to Lyger for finding this gem.

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