Research carried out by Symantec Hosted Services (SHS) shows that around 90 per cent of web attacks take place through legitimate, compromised websites.
This figure has significantly increased from 80 per cent in 2009.
Dan Bleaken, senior malware data analyst at SHS has said that any web site is capable of hosting malware or forwarding to a site that does.
He says that an unknowing user would only have to visit one compromised website, and the defences of a business could be breached causing disruption, loss, or damage to reputation.
Following this research, Bleaken cited an example of how a typical Malware attack could begin with any kind of topic of interest.
Bleaken said that a search result could lead a user to a site which looks like YouTube and in turn, to click on a play button. This could result in a pop up asking the user to download some content.
Although a site may look exactly like YouTube in reality it could be a fake and this could be extremely dangerous as users may be more likely to trust a download which would compromise their computer.
Bleaken also warned that legitimate sites may be affected in this way and may not be aware of the issue for a long time, which of course means that more users would be put at risk.
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