US named country with most malware

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos says, “The USA is still the dirty man of the web world – hosting more dangerous infected websites than any other country". Sophos discovers over 50 000 newly infected webpages daily. The figures show the problem of infected websites is prominent worldwide. Russia came second in the list with 12.8%, followed by China with 11.2%. The United Kingdom is listed tenth with 1.6% of malware infected websites.

Other countries included in the top 10 include: Peru, Germany, South Korea, Poland, Thailand and Turkey.

Criminals use malware to lure web users into disclosing personal information. Hackers can inject viral code into legitimate websites causing users to fall for their tricks, says Cluley. "These hacked sites are particularly dangerous because of the large amount of traffic they may already receive, and because visitors may feel they can trust any unusual pop-ups they see."

Another common method of implementing malware that has grown in the last 12 month is ‘malvertising’. This involves hackers posting malicious adverts on sites. Websites that were hit by malvertising included the New York Times and technology website Gizmodo.

Although hackers are responsible for infecting pages, website designers could also be to blame for not taking proper security measures. According to Cluley, "Webmasters need to take much better care of their sites, ensuring that they are securely coded and properly patched against hackers injecting malicious software into their pages”. He continues, “All computer users should be protected by a security solution that scans every webpage visited, and every link clicked on, to see if it could contain dangerous content. You scan your email for viruses – you should do the same for websites."

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