Feeds

Regular domains beat smut sites at hosting malware

99 to 1, study finds

The essential guide to IT transformation

New research pours scorn on the comforting but erroneous belief that Windows surfers who avoid smut and wares on the web are likely to avoid exposure to malware.

A study by free anti-virus firm Avast found 99 infected legitimate domains for every infected adult web site. In the UK, Avast found that more infected domains contained the word "London" (such as the blog section of http://kensington-london-hotels.co.uk) than the word "sex". Among the domains labelled as infected by Avast was the smart phones section of the Vodafone UK website. The mobile phone operator's site contained a malicious JavaScript redirect script that attempted to take advantage of an unpatched Windows Help and Support Centre flaw (CVE-2010-1885) to infect the machines of visiting surfers.

HTML files from sub-domain blackberry.vodafone.co.uk still contain malicious code at the time of writing but point to a site containing the attack payload site that has been pulled offline.

"Users browsing Vodafone domain should be safe - until new hack/updated hack will be performed," Avast researcher Miloslav Korenko told The Reg. "This may happen in the same way as the first hack.

"Of course, the Blackberry section of Vodafone.co.uk website needs to be cleaned as well - to prevent future attack similar to this one."

We have passed on details of the problem to Vodafone and will update this story as and when we get a response.

The type of attack against Vodafone is typical of one in five of the website infections identified by Avast. The anti-virus firm's results were culled from anonymous security incident logs submitted by users of its security software since the middle of last year. Data submitted includes information on the malware type and visited website, from which Avast draws its conclusions that infection of regular legitimate websites is a far more common cause of problems than visits to smut sites.

Infected sites recorded by the study include Brazilian software download site Baixaki and a variety of small business websites in Germany. Avast said a declining rate of the infections on ‘adult’ websites during its study emerged as a clear trend.

"We are not recommending people to start searching for erotic content but the statistics are clear - for every infected adult domain we identify there are 99 others with perfectly legitimate content that are also infected," commented Avast CTO Ondrej Vlcek. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?