A PC connected to the Internet will be attacked by hackers every 39 seconds on average, new research has revealed.

A study by the A. James Clark School of Engineering at University of Maryland found that hack attacks now occur at a "near-constant rate".

The study, conducted by assistant professor Michel Cukier, profiled the behaviour of 'brute force' hackers to determine which usernames and passwords are tried most often, and what hackers do when they gain access to a computer.

"Most of these attacks employ automated scripts that indiscriminately seek out thousands of computers at a time looking for vulnerabilities," he said.

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