Malware miasma - There's a Web page infected "every five seconds"

Hackers and other cyber-criminals have run amuck in the first half of 2008, infiltrating business networks - and infecting Web sites at a rate of one page every five seconds.

Malware threats on the Web grew at an exponential rate over the first half of 2008, security experts say.

During this period, there was a new Web page infected with malicious content every five seconds, according to Sophos. That's an increase from a rate of one every 14 seconds over the latter half of 2007.

Businesses were a major target of such attacks, as cyber-criminals used Web 2.0 channels of attack to infiltrate their corporate networks.

Two major security vendors have released reports on threats faced by Internet users everywhere.

The reports paint a grim picture of growing attacks against legitimate Web sites, many of them social networking sites containing user-generated content.

The number one host of malware was Google-owned Blogger. The popular blog-hosting service allows users to quickly set up their own personal Web page and post content. That makes it easy for hackers to take advantage of the service.

That's not a slur on Blogspot, according to Graham Cluely, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "The guys at Google are very good at rapidly shutting down infected Web pages. But even if you have a page shut down, it is very easy to start up a new one."

Out of the top 100 most popular Web sites, 60 have either hosted or been involved in malicious activity, according to a report from Websense. It's an example of hackers using legitimate Web sites to target unsuspecting victims.

"With their large user base, good reputations, and support of Web 2.0 applications, these sites provide malicious code authors with abundant opportunity," the report says.

Anecdotal evidence of the malware attacks reveals how cyber-criminals are becoming more cunning, relying on the trust users place in famous social network sites.

MySpace unknowingly ran an advertising banner that pushed malware on to unsuspecting users. A third-party Facebook application called "Secret Crush" was actually ad-serving software in disguise.

"A lot of our customers have been treating social networking with a draconian policy of 'no one can go there'," says Dan Hubbard, chief technology officer at Websense.

"But that binary yes or no policy doesn't work anymore. Web 2.0 services are becoming a part of doing business for many companies and as they open up, there are new risks."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Jackson

ITBusiness.ca
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?