Porn sites top drive-by download list

Porn sites, which have been the top sources of website malware for the past few quarters, top business, computers and technology, forums and newsgroups, education, and health and medicine sites in that order as sources of drive-by download malware, according to Commtouch's Internet Threats Trend Report for first quarter of 2010.

Other findings included an average of 183 billion spam and phishing emails sent every day. The most popular spam topic was pharmaceutical products, which made up eight in every 10 spam messages, according to the report, which also found some trends in the use of templates for spam messages.

"In February a phishing attack directed at Blogger and Google users was based on a template which used two techniques that effectively downplayed the 'phishy' nature of the e-mail," said the report. The templates used a very bare text style, similar to the type of email that a reputable service would use.

"Phishing-aware services such as PayPal, Facebook, and Blogger tend to use text-only emails with no links or images when contacting account owners," the report said. Links in the phishing emails were fully displayed, indicating that scammers are aware of increasingly educated users, who have learned to mouse over hyperlinked text to find the real underlying links.

Also popular was the 'curious recipient' template. These emails, sent with no subject other than a RE: or FW:, no explanatory text, and just a single link, relied on a social engineering concept in which curious users would click on the link "because it's there", the report said.

According to the Commtouch figures, spam levels averaged 83% of all email traffic throughout the quarter, peaking at nearly 92% the end of March, and bottoming out at 75% at the start of the year (presumably because the lucrative Christmas season was over).

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