- eBooks are increasingly used as bait
- Natural disasters and events are frequently exploited by hackers
Global Cloud Security Company Panda Security has released a study on the nature of malware-infected websites blocked by the company’s antivirus solutions in Quarter 1 2011. According to the research, 25% of sites used video and multimedia contents as bait; 21.6% referred to installers or program updates; 16.5% claimed to contain cracks and keygens, and 16% were social media URLs. eBooks are in fifth place on the list (5.25% of occurrences), followed by P2P downloads and adult content.
“Users continue to fall victim to malicious links offering to take them to an exciting video or the new episode of their favorite TV show” says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “This technique has become a weapon of choice for hackers as it requires minimum investment and attracts a large number of victims.”
Most Blocked URLs in Quarter 1
The three most blocked sites by Panda solutions in the first quarter of the year are three Brazilian Web pages, the first one referring to a video released by the Japanese consulate showing the rescue of a group of tsunami survivors.
The second site contains a video supposedly showing a short circuit causing the death of 15 people, and the third one supposedly contains footage of a police officer being fired because of his Internet activities.
“Attackers exploit hot topics and users’ morbid curiosity”, continues Matthews. “Most people are interested in watching footage from Japan’s earthquake.”
The study shows user preferences in relation to the malware lures used. For example, if you take a look at P2P applications, you’ll see that the most popular program is Ares, followed by Torrent and eMule. As for social networks, Facebook is still the king, way ahead of MySpace.
The most searched for operating system is Windows, followed by Mac and Linux. Finally, Explorer still dominates the Web browser market, with Firefox and Chrome trailing behind.
It has become increasingly difficult for users to differentiate between fake and real websites and sometimes it’s hard for users to tell if their system has been infected. This is why Panda offers users Panda Cloud Antivirus, a free tool for them to get a ‘second opinion’ on the health status of their computers. Panda Cloud Antivirus scans your PC thoroughly even if you have other antivirus programs installed.
“Most of these sites download Trojans onto users’ computers without their knowledge. Therefore, a good security solution capable of blocking them proactively is extremely helpful for users who, in most cases, cannot distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘malicious’ websites”, concludes Matthews.
For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.