More legitimate sites being used to host web-based malware

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More web-based malware is being hosted on compromised legitimate websites rather than suspicious sites, according to MessageLabs.

New data from MessageLabs Intelligence claimed that the preconception that most web-based malware resides on fly-by-night websites touting adult content is perhaps an ‘old-fashioned notion'.


Data taken from the week starting May 5 showed that 84.6 per cent of website domains blocked for hosting malicious content are well-established domains that are over a year old.


In contrast, only 15.4 per cent of blocked domains are sites that are less than a year old, while 10.2 per cent are less than a month old and 3.1 per cent are sites that are less than a week old.


Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst for Symantec, said: “It is highly likely that sites that are a year old are legitimate sites while those that are only a week old or less are likely to be temporary sites set up with the sole purpose of distributing malware.


“People need to be extra vigilant and understand that even sites they know and trust can be compromised through attacks such as SQL injection attacks, while businesses need to ensure they take the necessary precautions to block all the latest malicious sites. With the ever advancing world of cybercrime, nothing can be taken at face value.”

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