Malware authors cut out attachments

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Malware authors cut out attachments

Infected web pages now the attack du jour.

Malware authors are shifting attack vectors from emails containing infected attachments to web pages embedded with malicious code, according to experts at Infosecurity Europe 2007.

Security firm Sophos is reporting that the traditional method of sending malware via attachment is now falling out of favour and that the authors can now bury the code in web pages and just send out links to that page.

"We are seeing an average of 5,000 infected web pages every day," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Some days it goes as high as 20,000. Visit these sites, even if your browser is fully patched, and you run a risk of infection."

By exploiting vulnerabilities in the website server with a PHP attack or other technique, the malware author can imbed code in the site with little chance of detection.

Around 70 percent of infected web pages are contained in legitimate sites from established companies.

"It is not just porn or gambling sites that are risky," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos.

"They are appearing everywhere, even in gardening sites. Content is no longer an indicator to risk."
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