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Webmasters Hostile Towards Infection Reports from Security Firms

Recently, security researchers at the security firm Sophos stated that webmasters usually give a cold shoulder when asked regarding their compromised or infected websites. In case, if they answer, they do so in a very unfriendly manner.

Legal infected websites have become one of the major vectors for spamming and circulating malware online. The problem associated with such type of websites is that they can remain infected during long span of times if their owners are not convinced into cleaning them.

Commenting on the matter, Fraser Howard, a Virus Researcher at Sophos, stated that, the fact that identifying the signs of infection are not always direct or straight forward further adds to the problem. For instance, few scripts conceal the malicious code unless the user lands to the website via a search engine, as reported by Softpedia on December 22, 2010.

Mr. Howard further stated that, nearly 18 months back he decided to examine how responsive webmasters were to such kind of attacks. He added that, he contacted several victims (through e-mail) for several continuous weeks but the result was pretty obvious, majority of the victims did not trust him.

Further, Mr. Howard commented that his e-mails were never noticed by victims and the websites remained infected. He stated that of the replies he received, some were even written in an unfriendly manner, as reported by Sophos blog on December 22, 2010.

Meanwhile, according to the security experts, following cold calling techniques for circulating scareware further complicates the situation even more. People are usually recommended to be alert of this kind of e-mails and phone calls as they may be fake and dangerous.

Thus, security researchers advised that netizens can safeguard themselves by ensuring that they are contacting with only genuine and authentic people. This can be tough, and is not assisted by irrelevant contact information within the WHOIS data or the contact page on the website. The message that they circulate to an individual is vital as well. It has to be brief enough to be read and interpret, yet thorough enough for an individual to successfully verify the problem.

Conclusively, there is a need of more awareness among webmasters, website administrators, and website designing firms regarding how websites are hacked and infected to circulate malware. This will help improve internet safety for everyone.

Related article: Webmaster Agrees to Prosecutors’ Orders to Settle With FTC

» SPAMfighter News - 12/31/2010

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