Average Joe reckons DoS attacks fine if in interest of country -

A huge 63 percent  of people using the internet think it's ok for their country to spy on other nations using malware or through hacking according to Sophos.

Most data losses in the past six months could also have been avoided, the security company said in its 2010 mid-year Security Threat Report.

Nearly half (49 percent) of the 1077 people surveyed globally by Sophos said they had no qualms about their country using a denial of service (DoS) attack on another country if there is a threat of war. However seven percent of citizens said they'd give their country the go-ahead to perform this against another at any time.

A further 32 percent also said they wouldn't judge their country if it planted malware or hacked into private companies for financial gain, which suggests to us that there is still a lot of education needed about security, especially when you consider the uproar that it would cause if these people were on the receiving end of such attacks.  

It wasn't just these findings that were concerning. According to Sophos, many organisations are still failing to put in place correct and robust data management procedures, meaning that some of the many publicised data thefts or leaks could have been prevented.

Sophos said the best step to take would be to encrypt sensitive information so that even if data is lost, the confidentiality of that data would not be compromised. And although banks do this, many other companies are not following.

The report says too many businesses and organisations have not been controlling or educating staff on how to treat information, in turn putting a stop to risky behaviour and losing files. Only this year two NHS trusts were slammed by the ICO for losing data and at the same time, UK companies are facing fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of sensitive data.

Sophos pinpointed the US as the country with the largest number of malware-hosting websites in the world with the country hosting 42 percent of the world's malicious websites. The US was followed by China and Russia, which were responsible for 10.75 percent and 6.13 percent respectively.

The UK came sixth in the list, accounting for 2.41 percent of the world's malicious websites.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: "Although website owners in the US clearly have a lot of cleaning up to do, France, Italy and the Netherlands have all joined this top ten since the start of the year, so it's far from an isolated problem.

"The biggest issue is that a lot of these websites are legitimate ones that have been targeted by hackers - businesses could end up infecting their customers, leaving them open to fraud."