Websense: 233-Percent Growth in Malicious Sites in Six Months

SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Results outlined in Websense Security Labs’ bi-annual report titled "Websense Security Labs, State of Internet Security, Q1-Q2 2009" show an alarming increase in the number of malicious websites.

“The first half of 2009 saw a number of big exploits and an escalation of attacks using the dynamic elements of popular Web 2.0 sites to infect users’ computers and perpetrate fraud,” the San Diego-based security technology provider reported. “Additionally, the Websense Security Labs found a massive increase in the number of malicious sites which increased 233 percent over the six-month period.”

Websense Security Labs ThreatSeeker(TM) Network scans more than 40 million websites and ten million emails every hour looking for unwanted content and malicious code, and uses more than 50 million real-time data-collecting systems to monitor and classify web, email and data content.

Highlights from the latest report include:

  • 233-percent growth in the number of malicious sites in the past six months and 671-percent growth during the past year.
  • 77 percent of websites with malicious code are legitimate sites that have been compromised.
  • 95 percent of comments in blogs, chat rooms and message boards are spam or malicious.
  • 57 percent of data-stealing attacks are conducted over the web.
  • 85.6 percent of all unwanted emails in circulation contain links to spam sites and/or malicious websites. 

"The last six months have shown that malicious hackers and fraudsters go where the people are on the Web—and have heightened their attacks on popular Web 2.0 sites and continued to compromise established, trusted websites in the hope of infecting unsuspecting users,” Websense Chief Technology Officer Dan Hubbard said. “From malicious Twitter spam campaigns and blog comment spam to the massive injection attacks, those perpetrating fraud are exploiting the inherent trust users have of known web properties and other users."

More information about the latest Websense report can be found here.