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Malicious Websites Proliferate in 2010

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 11-12-2010 Print
A new report from Websense highlights the growth of malicious sites, as well as widespread SEO abuse by attackers.

The "Websense 2010 Threat Report," has mostly bad news for users -- the number of malicious Websites increased 111.4 percent between 2009 and 2010. Nearly 80 percent of all malicious sites are compromised legitimate Websites

Search engine optimization by attackers has not helped the situation. According to Websense, Web users searching for breaking news have a 22.4 percent chance of being lured to a malicious site -- more than those searching for adult content, who have a 21.8 percent chance.

"The earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, Corey Haim's death, and the World Cup of Soccer were just a few examples of cleverly manipulated search engine results steering people to bogus links that rated higher than legitimate results," according to the report. "Similar to what we found in 2009, the botnets behind these campaigns are being repurposed once the illegitimate campaign has been removed from the search engine results.

"Many of the 2010 SEO attacks were blended in nature, with a second component consisting of Rogue [Antivirus]," the report continues. "Both approaches used bogus AV campaigns offering free health scans that identified fake infections. Upon notification of a fake virus, users were prompted to download a free 'antivirus' software where a second scan asked them for their credit card information to remove the fake malware."

According to the report, the United States was the No. 1 country hosting crimeware and phishing sites in 2010.

For more, read the eWeek article Malicious Websites Jump Dramatically in 2010.


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