The Chinese capital city Beijing tops the global league table for distributing viruses, a new survey has reported.

According to UK-based managed security services companyNetwork Box, Beijing accounts for 40 percent of all viruses that passed though the company’s servers in June, and 5.25 percent of detected spam.

This compares with slightly lower percentages for cities in countries noted for having a malware problem. Moscow was second for spam with 5.12 percent, Seoul third with 3.58 percent, Turk in Turkey fourth with 3.4 percent, and London in fifth place on 2.47 percent, statistics that are likely to be skewed to some extent by the company’s UK-based customer base.

But it is in the area of virus distribution that Beijing outpaces other cities in the Network Box figures. Its 40 percent score contrasts markedly with much smaller scores for other locations. Not all of these are prominent – the obscure town of Wattleup near Perth in Australia comes is number 2 in the chart, with 3.68 percent of viruses. Madrid in Spain is third with 2.48 percent, Taipei In Taiwan fourth with 2.35 percent, and Henan in China fifth on 1.71 percent.

“There is a real danger of Beijing becoming public enemy number one for global malware. The increases we are seeing are probably down to illegal software that can’t be patched. With the rise of compromised machines and botnets, this could have far wider implications for global internet security,” said Network Box Managing Director Simon Heron.

China has for some time been notorious for its malware and hacking problem. It has variously been accused of officially-backed information warfare against the US, and of leading on every malware count experts can think up to measure the menace. More recently, crackdowns have started to reduce the volume of spam, some have reported.