The number of cyber crime operations emanating from Europe is growing, according to security experts.
Trend Micro said that over the first half of 2010, Europe had surpassed both Asia and the Americas as the top region for producing web-based threats.
The company said the rise in Europe-based threats may well be down to efforts by the government in China to force local internet service providers to curb illegal activities there, which have been credited with driving criminals to operators in Eastern Europe.
Trend Micro threat research director Jamz Yaneza told V3.co.uk that the Chinese government's campaigns do appear to have made an impact in overall levels, albeit small.
"That is one of the reasons why the amount of spam coming out of China has lessened," said Yaneza.
"It is still one of the biggest, next to Europe."
The report also found a trend towards localisation in online attacks. The company found that in countries such as Brazil, botnet infections and phishing attacks have been tailored to target smaller, local banks.
"Most of the bots target low-hanging fruits, and most of these are local banks," said Yaneza.
"A lot of these emails are being worded better by local individuals."
In the coming months, Yaneza expects to see cyber criminals shift their attention to emerging platforms. The researcher recommends that users patch not only their operating system, but individual applications and plug-ins that could be vulnerable.
"In the second half of this year we are going to see a lot more attacks using zero-days and we are going to see gadgets and smartphones factor in," Yaneza said.
"My suggestion is for users to be a bit more aware and not think that just because you are not using one of the most popular systems out there that you are safe."
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