Websense Security Labs has identified that 13,7% of searches for trending news/buzz words (as defined by Yahoo! Buzz and Google Trends) led to malware – with search engine optimisation poisoning attacks targeting the top searches and enabling hackers to drive traffic to their sites.
This is one of the findings from the recently-released report "Websense Security Labs, State of Internet Security, Q3-Q4 2009".
It also found that, in contrast to the first half of the year where mass injection attacks like Gumblar, Beladen and Nine Ball promoted a sharp rise in the number of malicious Web sites, thre has been a 3,3% decline in the growth of the number of Web sites compromised. Malware authors have replaced their traditional scattergun approach with focused efforts on Web 2.0 properties with higher traffic and multiple pages.
Overall, comparing the second half of 2009 with the same period in 2008, there has been an average growth of 225% in malicious Web sites.
Malware authors continue to capitalize on Web site reputation and exploiting user trust with the second half of 2009 revealing 71% of Web sites with malicious code are legitimate sites that have been compromised.
Web 2.0 sites allowing user-generated content are a top target for cybercriminals and spammers. Websense Defensio technology enabled Websense Security Labs to identify that 95% of user-generated comments to blogs, chat rooms and message boards are spam or malicious.
Websense Security Labs found that 35% of malicious Web attacks included data-stealing code, demonstrating that attackers are after essential information and data.
The Web continues to be the most popular vector for data-stealing attacks. In the second half of 2009 the Websense Security Labs found that 58% of data-stealing attacks are conducted over the Web.
Tens of thousands of Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! email accounts were hacked and passwords stolen and posted online which resulted in a marked increase in the number of spam emails.
Websense Security Labs identified that 85,8% of all e-mails were spam and, during the second half of the year, 81% of e-mails contained a malicious link.
Websense chief technology officer Dan Hubbard comments: "Malicious hackers are really focusing their efforts to ensure they're driving their victims straight to them. By poisoning search results and focusing on Web 2.0 sites, their efforts are often more efficient and effective. The blended nature of today's threats combined with compromised legitimate sites, takes full advantage of an increased perception of trust when using search engines and interacting with friends or acquaintances online."
Every hour, Websense Security Labs ThreatSeeker Network scans more than 40-million Web sites and 10-million e-mails for unwanted content and malicious code.