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Most "legit sites" host malware

Most "legit sites" host malware

According to a new study, three-quarters of malware is from legitimate, trusted sources with "Good" reputation scores, and 60 percent of the 100 most popular websites have either hosted or been involved in malicious activity in the first six-months of 2008.

According to the latest "State of Internet Security" report from web security firm Websense, the percentage of websites with malicious code has increased by almost 50 percent over the previous six months, which has Websense researchers pointing to more sophisticated malware attacks.

Only 12 percent of infected sites were created using Web malware exploitation kits, a decrease of one-third over the previous period.

Websense researchers said the decrease may be attributed to attackers launching more customized attacks to avoid signature detection by security measures.

The percentage of email messages that were spam remained unchanged at 87 percent but the message content and method has drastically change.

Pornography-related spam is no longer the most popular topic, decreasing by more than 70 percent. Shopping took top spot with 20 percent, cosmetics 19, and medical 11.

Phishing attacks made up 9 percent of all spam messages, a 47 percent increase over the last six months.

Websense monitored sites between January 1 and June 30, 2008, scanning more than 40 million web sites and scans nearly ten million emails per hour for unwanted content and malicious code using more than 50 million, real-time data collecting systems.


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