Feeds

Beloved websites riddled with crimeware

Web 2.0 malware mash-up madness

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sixty of the 100 most popular websites either hosted malicious content or linked to malicious websites at some point during the first six months of 2008, according to a new study by web security firm Websense.

Many of these sites include search engine and social networking sites that are becoming a popular target for attackers thanks to their huge user bases allied to inadequate security controls. Open redirects that allow hackers to bounce surfers off well-known sites onto dodgy domains are a big part of this problem, according to Carl Leonard, security research manager EMEA at Websense. SQL injection attacks are also a major cause of grief, he added.

Websense recorded a market increase in drive-by download attacks that involve hackers loading malicious scripts, using tactics such as SQL injection attacks, onto otherwise reputable websites. More than 75 per cent of the Web sites Websense classified as malicious during the 1H 2008 were legitimate websites that had become the victim of cybercrooks. In the past, the majority of malware would crop up on warez and smut sites.

Overall 29 percent of malicious Web attacks included data-stealing code, demonstrating that information pilfering rather than simple mischief is becoming a more and more significant driver of malware creation.

Brazilian and Chinese hackers get all the blame but the majority of spyware sends its information back to systems based in the US.

Around half (46 per cent) of the malware attacks monitored by Websense in the first half of 2008 send data back over the web with connections made to systems in the US in 57.3 per cent of these cases. By comparison, just 6 per cent of spyware phones home to China, only 4.3 per cent pings Russia and a similar 4 per cent hooks up with cybercrooks in Brazil.

Websense's Leonard cautioned that its findings don't necessarily mean malware-spreading cybercrooks are mostly based in the US. "It could be the attacker is located in a different country. cybercrime is international," he said.

In other findings, Websense recorded a marked drop in malicious code created using exploitation kits over recent months. It reckons VXers are using customised attacks more often in an attempt to bypass signature detection tools that are likely to block the product of rudimentary malware creation toolkits.

A summary of Websense's latest research can be found here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.