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Estonia, which suffered massive and crippling DoS attacks in April 2007, this year established a "top-secret cybersecurity hub," which has been "operational as of August 2008 and backed by NATO and seven EU countries (Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain)," the McAfee report states.

Estonia also is said to have pledged 50,000 Euros to back the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

But while some countries end up as high-tech crime scapegoats, the report notes, in reality it's very difficult to precisely identify origination points.

"In fact, obfuscation seems to be the name of the game," says Alana Maurushat, acting director of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre of the University of New South Wales in Australia. "It is easy to make it appear as if malware or espionage activities are originating from a county other than the original source. There is considerable misdirection as to origin of attacks. Much traffic is misdirected as a decoy. The actual attack may originate in the same city as the target. This is often done with cases of country espionage and corporate espionage."

Those out on the Web front lines say they can only speak about what they witness daily.

"We're getting hacking attempts constantly," says Clay Hill, Web site manager at the libraries division at Mississippi State University, which allows authorized access to research. "And most of it is from China."

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