Porn sites bottom of the Malware Table

Posted: May 1, 2012

According to research by security firm Symantec, religious and ideological websites can carry three times more malware threats than pornography sites.

The firewall, anti-virus and online security firm’s annual Internet Security Threat Report also suggest threats to mobile devices continue to grow, almost exclusively on Google’s Android OS.

Symantec say the average number of security threats on religious sites was around 115, contrasting with an average of around 25 threats per adult site. The report also says only 2.4 percent of adult sites were found to be infected with malware, compared to almost one in five of blogs.

“We hypothesise that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free — it’s not good for repeat business. It is interesting to note that websites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked 10th,” states the report.

Looking deeper into the data, Symantec measured an increase of more than 81 percent in malware in 2011 over 2010, while the number of malware variants increased by 41 percent. The good news is spam volumes have decreased from 88.5 percent of all email to 75.1 percent over the same period, thanks in part to the shutting down of the Rustock worldwide bot-net, which was responsible for large numbers of spam emails.

As the report highlights, Android smartphone users need to be wary of malware, with Symantec highlighting mobile vulnerabilities. Mobile malware files, most exclusive to Google’s open mobile OS, increased by more than 93 percent from 2010 to 2011. More than half of all Android threats collect device data or track users’ activities. A further quarter of the mobile threats the report identified are designed to send premium SMS messages from infected phones, making criminals money, which the report says could be even more lucrative than stealing your credit card details.

The Malware Table – Top 10 Threats:
19.8% of Blogs and web communications sites were found to have malware associated with them. In second place, hosting and personal hosted sites, with 15.6%. Business and economy sites took bronze with 10% infection rates. The others were shopping (7.7%), education/reference and technology/computer(6.9%), entertainment and music (3.8%), automotive (3.8%), health and medicine (2.7%) and pornography at 2.4%.

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