(REUTERS/Kacper Pempel )
The U.S. has the dubious honor of hosting more malicious web domains than any other country, a cybersecurity company said this week.
A distant second was the Netherlands, and even more distant were Russia and China, tied at the seventh place, Palo Alto Networks said in a report this week, over the second quarter. In fact, there was a steep drop-off of malicious domains are hosted in Russia and China compared to the first quarter, as China fell from the Number 2 spot, Palo Alto said.
Outside of the U.S. and the Netherlands “hosted malicious domains dropped sharply all over the world,” the report added.
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The US is also at the top of the rankings of the exploit kits used to launch attacks – researchers. The USA was the number one source for the Grandsoft, Sunset, and Rig exploit kits and the number two for KaiXin.
The United States alone accounted for more exploit kits worldwide than all other countries combined, says the report.
Malware loves Windows
Windows applications, and their vulnerabilities, which are still very popular with the attackers.
A vulnerability identified as CVE-2016-0189, was on the top of the list, which affects Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Visual Basic programming language. This leap to 472 of malicious Urls in the second quarter, an increase of 219 in the first quarter.
The number of two – and newest vulnerability (CVE-2018-8174) also targeted to Visual Basic and was operated by, 291 malicious Urls, the researchers said.
This made use of the “Double Kill Version 1” to operate. The researchers found the first active exploit in the wild on 12 May, four days after a fix was issued. “It is interesting to point out that it took four days for the threats to create and weaponize the exploit after Microsoft’s disclosure of the vulnerability,” the researchers said.
Surprisingly, malware, exploits still security holes discovered more than nine years ago in Windows.
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A nine-and-a-half-year-old Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 vulnerability highly ranked as other, equally old vulnerability that affects Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, 6 and 7, Palo Alto Networks researchers said.
Cyber criminals are not picky, as long as they infect with a good amount of computers,” says cybersecurity news site, Bleeping Computer, which is cited in the report.
Adobe Reader is also a popular target.
“On the basis of our findings, our guidance is for organisations to focus on the guarantee of Microsoft Windows and Adobe Flash and Reader are fully up-to-date with the latest versions and updates,” Palo Alto Networks said.