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Web-Based Malware Infections Reached Over 1.2 Million in Q3-2010

According to a recent study by the security firm Dasient, the number of malware infected websites has doubled from the 2009 levels and has crossed the mark of 1.2 Million in Q3-2010.

Commenting on the issue, Dasient CEO, Neil Daswani stated that, during Q3-2009, nearly 560,000 were found to be infected with malware. He further added that, although researchers were expecting the number to augment, the fact that it increased two fold was a shock, as reported by eWEEK on November 22, 2010.

Rather than just augmenting in terms of volume, malware has also modified its propagation techniques. Though spam and e-mail attachment techniques are still popular, netizens getting infected without opening an attachment or link is becoming more popular.

Drive-by-downloads initially occurred on malicious websites, where users reached by clicking on a link in a spam e-mail, or opening a malicious attachment or clicking on infected links on social networking website. However, legal websites are increasingly becoming part of the problem as cybercriminals frequently hack the website and download malware on netizens PCs.

Security experts highlighted that, while cybercrooks continue to increase their use of nearly every possible tool available at their end, the web malware troubles have dramatically increased because an increasing number of legal websites are getting infected by malware.

Moreover, it has been fund that during Q3-2010, around 1.5 million malvertisments were served regularly. This number includes those that were circulated via drive-by-downloads and bogus antivirus campaigns. The average lifespan of one of these fake anti-virus campaigns was more than 11 days. With such astounding figures, it's pretty clear that it's extremely significant to frequently update anti-virus software.

Security researchers have cautioned that as we are heading towards 2011, it is estimated that, with the specifically increased usage of social networking websites for distributing malware, drive-by-downloads and fake anti-virus campaigns will be more aggressively used on websites like, Facebook and Twitter, as proved by threats like the Koobface botnet that repeatedly targets Facebook and the September XSS attack that exploited Twitter and redirected netizens to porn and malicious websites.

Evidently, it's more significant than ever to keep oneself protected against malware attacks. Hence, netizens should install an effective anti-virus software on their machines and update them frequently.

Related article: Web Browsers Too Have Security Exploits

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