More cyber attacks launch from within the United States than anywhere else according to the latest threat report from McAfee, but the implications of the statistics are less obvious than they appear. Cybercriminals from other nations are routing their aggression through vulnerable U.S. Internet protocol (IP) addresses because outdated domains make easy targets. So while the country might not be the biggest breeding ground for hackers, its infrastructure has troubling weaknesses.
Websites that have gone without updates for the past five to six years are easy targets for malicious actors who exploit the outdated security and coding. "Our infrastructure has shown a lot of signs of weakness and age to be exploited," Adam Wosotowsky, messaging data architect at McAfee, explains. Part of the problem lies in the fact that the United States is an Internet pioneer. People from other countries often host their sites through U.S. infrastructure because it can withstand threats such as denial-of-service attacks. In addition, since no other country has more advanced Internet experience, the United States has to initiate solutions.
Older domains also are a commodity to hackers, because officials have a harder time blocking them. When a site is known to be malicious, measures can be taken to refuse content from it. But when an address historically has been trusted, blocking content becomes more complex.