Australia attracting 'significant' volume of Web threats: report

Deakin University research finds one in eight Australian IP addresses are exposed to threats

Australia’s dependence on the Internet has made it a target for a significant volume of Web threats, according to a new Deakin University report.

The research, entitled Analysis of the Australian Web Threat Landscape, found that one in eight Australian IP addresses are exposed to one or more Web threats every day.

During May 2013, researchers from Deakin University and Trend Micro analysed malicious activity from over 200,000,000 Web requests per day from Australia. The researchers found that 400,000 of these requests were issued to malicious websites.

In addition, one in every 2500 Web hits originating from Australia was malicious in nature, resulting in Australian users being victim to 3 per cent of the world’s attacks.

Approximately 57 per cent of malicious traffic was triggered by business product users while 41 per cent was generated by consumers.

The report also found that 62 per cent of malicious websites visited by Australian users originated in the United States. Australia hosted nearly 2 per cent of malicious websites visited by Australian users, accounting for 16,000 hits on a typical day. According to researchers, this indicated that some attacks were specifically targeted at Australians.

The research is part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project on Web threats. Deakin University, Macquarie University and Trend Micro are participants in the project.

Deakin University network security and computing lab school of IT Professor Yang Xian said that the ARC Linkage project has allowed researchers to apply large scale analytics techniques to analyse malware sensor data.

“Though Australia is geographically isolated in the Southern Hemisphere, it is attracting a significant volume of Web threats,” he said in a statement.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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