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Russia is the top attacker of internet attacks on the U.S.

The US was on the receiving end of more internet attacks than any other country, with Russia at the top of the list, according to a new report.

The US was hit by 11 million attacks, a report from Helsinki-based F-Secure says. France was a distant second with 6.4 million, according to the cybersecurity firm, whose report covers the first half of 2018.

Russia led the list of countries the attack on the u.s. with 8 million attacks of the Vladimir Putin-led country.

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That said, the volume is much lower than in the second half of last year, when there were about 70 million attacks from Russia on the united states, the cybersecurity company said.

Traffic peak in the second 2017 when there is “strong campaigns” from Russia via so-called SSH, or Secure Shell protocol.

“Russia is relatively quiet in Q1, but on account of a large part of this delivery,” the cybersecurity company said in the report.

“One thing that has not changed is the top hostile relationship between the countries: Russia, who are targeted on the united states,” F-Secure said in a note to the report.

Many of these Russian attacks, use SSH for remote access by trying, for example, to log in as administrator. Russia is the largest source of SSH traffic, the report said.

Overall, Russia led with 27 million SSH-attacks worldwide, and the US was the largest target group in general (including those coming from Russia and other countries), a total of 9 million, F-Secure said.

F-Secure counted the attacks for the report with a “honeypot”, which are a required servers are set to attract the interest of the attackers by emulating popular services, such as SSH, HTTP, and SMB (Server Message Block).

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Other trends

Spam booby-trapped with malicious web addresses and attachments is the number one infection method in the first half of 2018, the report said.

A total of 31 percent of spam e-mail had links to malicious websites, while 23 contained malicious attachments. Most of the malware attachments were found to be either 7Z, DOC, PDF, XLS, or ZIP.

The other 46 percent of the spam is usually dating scams “seem to be making a comeback,” F-secure said.

Why the increase in Spam? Spam is becoming more sophisticated than before. Strategies include sending e-mail pretending to be from someone the recipient knows and improve the grammar and spelling. In particular, “error-free subject lines” are effective, F-Secure said. If a computer user knows, one of the simplest tip-offs to a scam is bad grammar.

Another reason for Spam-attacks: other tactics do not work. For example, antivirus software is the beating back standardized malware threats more effectively.

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Meanwhile, the top-bank-threat in the first half of the year was Trickbot, whose target list contains more than 400 banks, including every major bank in the nordic countries and large banks in the US and Europe.

“Known to use EternalBlue to infect unpatched Windows systems, it then uses Mimikatz to grab credentials to spread to patched systems,” F-Secure said.

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