Computer Viruses More Likely On Mainstream Sites than 'Sketchy Sites' reports Hyper 6
Users 21-times more likely to contract virus from notable sites
Internet users are over 20-times more likely to contract an online virus by visiting a legitimate shopping site rather than visiting a site used by “illegal file-sharing” according to the Cisco annual security report.
"Web malware encounters occur everywhere people visit on the Internet — including the most legitimate of websites that they visit frequently, even for business purposes," Mary Landesman, Cisco senior security researcher, said in the report.
"Business and industry sites are one of the top three categories visited when a malware encounter occurred."
According to the study, the problem is not the site themselves, but in the ads they allow to be on the site. As on many web pages, the content is often nice and neat with bundles of information. However, in many cases, when the webpage loads, the page creates a “call” to a third-party server and host images, video content, and/or advertisement that are syndicated to hundreds or thousands of public websites.
For example, YouTube videos that are embedded into WordPress or Temblr blogs, or the banner ads that are displayed across the top of pages are examples of this common occurrence.
The information is collated and formatted in order to maintain a cohesive look; however, it is often created through information called from a wide array of courses.
When criminals are able to successfully attack an ad network, their malware becomes syndicated, and thus is send to each place the ad goes, from Target to ToysRUs.comor Amazon and eBay.
"Our data reveals the truth of this outdated notion, as Web malware encounters are typically not the by-product of 'bad' sites in today’s threat landscape," the report added. "Dangers are often hidden in plain sight through exploit laden online ads."
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