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US Hosts the Highest Number of Malicious Websites

As per a new report "Security Threat Report 2010" by 'Sophos,' the US hosts the maximum number of malicious websites in the world. Nearly 37.4% web pages hosted by the US are dangerous or malicious.

Although the US faces strong competition from China and Russia, China's share has reduced noticeably from 27.7% in 2008 to 11.2% in 2009. The fall down in China's share is the continuation of a trend started in 2008 when its share decreased from 51.4% in 2007. Therefore, China acquires the third position and Russia holds the second position with 12.8% malicious pages.

The remaining harmful pages come from different parts of the world, with Peru acquiring the fourth position (3.7%). The fifth position is secured by Germany which contributed 2.6% of malicious web pages.

Another appealing finding of Sophos is that hackers have changed their attack techniques to maximize their profit. In place of making new websites and enticing innocent victims, hackers now target websites of well-known/reputed firms.

The conventional method of maliciously created websites enticing victims with promises of pleasing and unique content is still thriving, but now these methods face competition from authentic websites hacked by attackers to host their wares, said Sophos.

The security company further states that these websites are specifically malicious as visitors feel safe on reliable web resources and become a bit lenient and trust all pop-ups and inserts claim, as per the reports by independent on February 2, 2010.

Examples of hacked legitimate websites appeared in 2009, with SQL injection and malicious advertising - "malvertising" - being the important incursion vector included The New York Times and technology site Gizmodo.

Sophos suggests that users should remain cautious of such malicious attempts. As per the security vendor, Web usage should be tested by quality web protection technology which can catch malware on hacked sites, and can control even the recent dangerous URLs and domains. Users who try to neglect the safety mechanism should be made aware of its importance, and should not use accessing proxies and other security-bypassing systems.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 2/10/2010

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