Most Infected Zombie Nation per capita


Hong Kong is the country with the most PC zombies per capita in the world. This means that Hong Kong has the highest incidence of unpatched Windows PCs plugged directly into the internet with no firewall or other software. The owners of these PCs are unaware that their computer is being used to send spam and generate DDOS attacks.

I have to say that I'm not at all surprised by this. In general, awareness of PC Security and general IT good practise is appallingly low in Hong Kong. There's a tendency, especially in the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to go for the cheapest possible PC support for corporate networks and end up with one MCSE school-leaver trying to manage a network of workstations and Servers. This guy will have no experience of serious Enterprise level security and will often unwittingly place workstations out on the public internet where they can be compromised almost instantly. (A windows XP box can be compromised in a few minutes just by being directly connected to the internet.)

At least one company that I'm aware of has an IT administrator who is so ignorant of the very basics of his profession, that he thinks 192.x.x.x is a private Class A netspace! Mind you, the MD of that company wanted me to sort out their network systems for free, while doing a full days work of other consulting, so I guess that explains a lot.

I've been asked to look at computers which their owners think are being a bit too slow. "Normally", the lady explained to me, "I trade in my laptop for a new one every year, because there's a new model out, and my old computer is very slow after a year. This one is very slow after only a few months." So I look at it. It's rotten with spyware, viruses, bots, whatever. Directly after rebooting, there were about 150 processes running, each one trying to take 100% of the CPU and 100% of the RAM. The network connections (wired and wireless) are maxed out with attempts to send out crap. After booting in Safe Mode and running Adaware and an anti-virus program, things were much improved. And don't think that this PC was this bad because a woman was using it - her husband's laptop was just as bad, and he works in IT!

The simplest solution for this sort of thing is to put a hardware firewall between your PC and the internet. These boxes generally ship with external access switched off. i.e., no one from outside can make a connection to your machine. Unless you're running a mail or webserver, etc, this is fine for you.

If you have a modern laptop with Wireless networking, then a simple Linksys wireless box will allow you to connect to the internet from anywhere in your flat and also protect you from most attacks. If you have a wired PC, the wired equivalent will do the same job. There are other brands, of course, but they all do more or less the same things.

About Me


  • Unsolicited Bulk Email (spam), commercial solicitations, SEO related items, link exchange requests, and abuse are not welcome here and will result in complaints to your ISP.
  • Any email to the above address may be made public at the sole discretion of the recipient.

Other Stuff

  • Powered by Linux
  • (RedHat Linux)


Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by dave published on June 17, 2005 12:30 AM.

Site Redesign was the previous entry in this blog.

Updated to Fedora Core 4 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.