A new “heat map of the internet” has revealed the countries most vulnerable to hacking attacks, by scanning the entire internet for servers with their front doors wide open.
Produced by information security firm Rapid7, the National Exposure Index finds that the most exposed country in the world is Belgium, followed by Tajikistan, Samoa and Australia. The US comes 14th and the UK 23rd.
The map of the internet was produced by Rapid7’s Project Sonar, a tool which allows the firm to scan every single public-facing IP address in a matter of hours, and look at which services they are offering to the wider internet.
Many, even most, of those services will be appropriate. For instance, a web server with an open port 80, the “door” through which HTTP web pages are sent through, is appropriate (even if the encrypted version, HTTPS, would be more secure). But eight of the top 10 services offered by servers on the internet are unencrypted, such as POP3, an outdated email protocol, and FTP, an insecure method of transferring files over the net.