Security researchers have found that the US and China are by far the most popular starting points for online attacks.
Security firm NCC Group said that its global reports placed the two countries far ahead of all other nations in their share of malicious activity. The US accounted for 22 per cent of all the world's attacks, while China was second with a 16 per cent share.
Those attacks have also impacted the global economy. NCC estimates that the combined hacking attempts originating from the two countries hit the global economy by roughly $44bn.
Russia was a distant third on the list, responsible for 3.6 per cent of attacks and a cost of roughly $4bn in damages. Rounding out the top five were Brazil with 3.5 per cent and Italy with 3.1 per cent of the world's hacking activity.
The UK was placed outside of the top 10. The country's 1.74 per share of the attacks ranked 15th overall. Nevertheless, NCC estimated that hacking activity within the UK cost the global economy roughly $2bn in losses.
The rankings come as authorities have stepped up international efforts to shut down cyber crime groups. Microsoft has helped to spearhead a number of initiatives which have seen private firms join forces with law enforcement groups to identify and apprehend cyber crime groups.
NCC chief executive Rob Cotton noted that such cooperative campaigns will be essential to slowing the growth of criminal activity online.
"Fighting this global threat will only work with global collaboration," Cotton noted.
"We hear lots about governments wanting to work together and there’s a strong financial motivation to find this long-suggested global solution but progress is painfully slow."
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