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China Hosts Majority of Badware Sites

China Hosts Majority of Badware Sites

From the press release:

The majority of the Internet’s malware-infected websites are located on Chinese networks, finds a new report released today by, the university-based research initiative aimed at protecting users from dangerous software. The report also identifies the 10 network blocks that contain the largest number of badware sites. Six of the 10 are located in China.

“Sites that infect visiting PCs represent some of the worst of digital pollution,” said Jonathan Zittrain, co-director and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “Malware is a global problem that requires cooperation across industries and across national borders.”

As China strives to hone its image in preparation for the Beijing Olympics, fifty-two percent of the more than 200,000 infected sites analyzed in late May were hosted by Chinese networks. U.S.-based networks accounted for 21 percent of bad sites. The data were provided by Google's Safe Browsing team and are searchable by URL in the Badware Website Clearinghouse.

The owners of these network blocks play a variety of roles in the Internet ecosystem. Some directly control the infected servers on their networks, while others lease equipment and/or bandwidth to customers who control their own servers. Google, which is a sponsor of, hosts free blogs on its network through its popular Blogger service. Malicious users sometimes exploit these free blogs as a means to link to or distribute malware. Google disables the blogs as soon as they detect the bad content, but the dead blogs remain in the list of infected sites until Google’s automated malware detection system has an opportunity to rescan them.

From the report abstract:

Using data from Google’s Safe Browsing initiative, analyzed over 200,000 websites found to engage in badware behavior. The analysis found that over half of the sites were based on Chinese network blocks, with a small number of blocks accounting for most of the infected sites in that country. The U.S. accounted for 21% of infected sites, and these were spread across a wide range of networks. Compared to last year, the total number of sites was much higher, likely due both to increased scanning efforts by Google and to increased use of websites as a vector of malware infection. Several U.S.-based network blocks that were heavily infected last year, including that of web hosting company iPowerWeb, whose network block topped last year’s list, no longer host large numbers of infected sites.


Find the full report here, read the press release, and see StopBadware manager Maxim Weinstein's blogpost.

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