Security firm Panda Security has released a study on the nature of malware-infected websites blocked by the company’s antivirus solutions in the first quarter of 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.”
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.
“Most of these sites download Trojans onto users’ computers without their knowledge," says Matthews. "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.”