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UT study into urban centres of crime on the internet Russian city carries out most cyber attacks per capita

The Russian city of Chelyabinsk has the greatest concentration of cybercrime on the internet. Kuala Lumpur is in second place and Buenos Aires has the dubious distinction of coming in third. This finding has emerged from research carried out at the CTIT research institute of the University of Twente in collaboration with the spin-off company Quarantainenet. The study looked into which cities carried out the most cyber attacks per million inhabitants.

Research into internet crime usually focuses on the country of origin of cyber attacks. China, Brazil and the United States are nearly always at the top of the list. Since some countries are very large and diverse, this method paints an inadequate picture of the actual problem. The more accurate your information on the location of cyber criminals (or clusters of them), the better you can fight cybercrime.

This is why scientists at the CTIT research institute of the University of Twente and the spin-off company Quarantainenet decided to study which cities most cyber attacks come from. The top-three are Seoul, Taipei and Beijing. The top-twenty is primarily made up of cities in Asia and South America. Only one European city ranks in the top-twenty: Bucharest.

Attacks per million inhabitants

To determine which city in fact has the highest concentration of criminal activity on the internet, the researchers compensated their results for the populations of the cities in question. This led to a marked shake-up of the ranking. The Russian city of Chelyabinsk can claim the illustrious number-one position, with 120 attacks per one million inhabitants. The capital of Malaysia comes in at number two, while Argentina's capital city ranks third.


The research was conducted by Matthew van Polen, Giovane Moura and Aiko Pras. The Design and Analysis of Communication Systems (DACS) research group and the UT spin-off company Quarantainenet were responsible for the study. The research was recently presented at the AIMS 2011 conference in Nancy, France. The article Finding and Analyzing Evil Cities details the study and the results and was recently published online.