As I blogged yesterday, the IP addresses attacking me trace back to a Netherland hosting company called Ecatel Network.
Ecatel has become notorious for hosting bad actors, from the Russian spammers to pedophile networks. It also has a reputation for brushing off requests for help from the victims.
Trying to figure out what was going on, I did a bit of research into the world of cyber-crime.
AKAMAI REPORT – CHINA LEADS CYBER-CRIME?
The mainstream media likes to portray cyber-crime as essentially a foreign threat. China, especially, is fingered as the bad guy.
For instance, in January, US-based Akamai Technologies issued a report placing China at the head of global hacking, responsible for 35% of cyber-attacks world-wide.
More recently, the US government pressed cyber-warfare charges against five of China’s army officers.
Nigerians scamsters are rumored to run a close second.
There are two things wrong with this picture. The first is the source of the information.
Akamai Technologies is a “content-delivery network” head-quartered in Cambridge, Massachussetts.
It was founded by an MIT applied math professor, Tom Leighton, and a graduate student at MIT, Daniel Lewin, later killed on AA flight 11, which crashed during the September 11, 2001 attack.
According to his MIT bio, Leighton is a specialist in cryptography, digital rights, and algorithms for network applications. He also chaired a Presidential committee on Cyber-Security.
Akamai’s co-founder, COO, and President was the founder of the Road-Runner cable service. Its CEO was a senior VP from IBM.
Its partners include Microsoft and Apple and its clients include the BBC, the White House, Facebook, Twitter, Adobe Systems, Netflix, Yahoo, ESPN Star (India), China Central Television and Al Jazeera, among many others.
How likely is it that reports from Akamai on cyber-crime are untouched by political pressure?
WORLD HOSTS REPORT – US, RUSSIA LEAD CYBER-CRIME
Point two. The statistics don’t support Akamai’s pious propaganda.
The Chinese do indeed have a very high number of IP addresses attached to their malicious activity. If sheer volume were the only criterion, China would dominate.
However, as far as the number of malicious sites and the level of threat involved, the world’s leading cyber-criminals aren’t Chinese. Not even close.
They are in the US and in Russia, closely followed by smaller countries like the Netherlands, the Ukraine, and Romania.
In Host Exploit’s authoritative World Hosts Report of March 2013, five of the top twenty malware hosts were based in the US; four were in Russia, two each in the Netherlands, Germany, and the Ukraine.
Chinanet Backbone was the only host from China that made the top twenty.
What was especially interesting to me was to find the originator of the attacks on my computer, Ecatel network, at the top of the list of the world’s leading hosts for malware.
Host Exploit also breaks down cyber-crime by country, with Russia leading the pack.
This is its list of the world’ top ten cyber-crime havens in 2013:
1. The Russian Federation (RU)
2. Belarus (BY)
3. Ukraine (UA)
4. The British Virgin Islands (VG)
5. The United States (US)
6. Romania (RO)
7. Netherlands (NL)
8. Poland (PL)
9. Turkey (TR)
10. Bulgaria (BG)