The U.S. hosts the most malicious websites in the world

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The U.S. hosts more malicious websites than any other country in the world, according to a new study by security firm G Data, accounting for nearly 60 percent of attacks.

The Germany company recently published its PC Malware Report and it found that in the second half of 2015, 57 percent of registered attacks were traced back to hosts in the U.S., a jump from 43.3 percent in the previous half-year period.

The U.S. has a clear majority in the number of malicious websites it hosts. The other top host countries are China, Hong Kong, Russia, and Canada, but those nations only accounted for 14.4 percent combined. The presence of European countries in the research is almost negligible, with Germany and Italy the only countries registering in the study, with six percent between them.

G Data’s research makes no distinction between phishing sites and malware sites in its research. But overall the number of websites that the security company calls “evil” has grown by 45 percent, representing a increasing security threat to Internet users.

Gambling sites are the most common type of site used to masquerade as a genuine webpage, accounting for 18.7 percent of all such sites. Blogs, tech sites, and health sites were all frequently used to carry out attacks as well.

“One might think that the number of visitors to these online casino websites was not that large, but many of the victims did not end up on the gambling site of their own free will,” said the authors. “They were involuntarily delivered there via an infected advertising banner (malvertising). And the reach of Web banners is sometimes extremely wide.”

The research also highlighted the return of banking Trojans and malware in the second half of 2015, which are mostly targeting English-speaking countries.

“In the beginning of the second half of 2015, it initially appeared that attacks by banking Trojans had been significantly reduced,” said Tim Berghoff of G Data. But that hasn’t remained the case. In particular, the banking malware Dridex was behind a “huge wave of attacks” in late 2015.

In total, the researchers found 2,098,062 new malware variants in the second half of the year, bringing the total for 2015 to 5,143,784. This came to just under the quantity of new variants discovered in 2014.

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