Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's not like we didn't already know the malware (short for "malicious software") infection rate is increasing, but Google's security folks posted a technical paper and blog entry on Monday that illustrates the prevalence of "drive-by" malware distribution and just how big the problem has become.

Excerpt:

“During that time we have investigated billions of URLs and found more than three million unique URLs on over 180,000 web sites automatically installing malware” … “In the past few months, more than 1% of all search results contained at least one result that we believe to point to malicious content and the trend seems to be increasing.”

Add to that the fact that a significant and growing amount of newer malware recompiles itself into new forms each time it redistributes, making it virtually undetectable by current means, and the situation potentially becomes even scarier.

The technical paper is a very interesting read and explains some of the distribution techniques and designs. It also points out one piece of browser technology that has resurfaced to plague the security world many, many times: the iFrame.

The problem is most deeply rooted in China, where 67% of all malware distribution servers are located, and 64.4% of all landing sites (sites that point to a distribution site) are located. The next closest offending country is the United States, which accounts for about 15% of the distribution and landing sites. So, one can easily see where a significant portion of the problem lies. With the increases in business and trade taking place in China now, one has to worry about the future if computer systems are in such bad shape. Clearly, something needs to change.

If you're a security person, an IT server admin, work with web applications, develop web apps, or are for any reason interested in scary figures (such as the fact that "38.1% of the Apache servers and 39.9% of servers with PHP scripting support reported a version with security vulnerabilities."), read the report. It's worth the time you'll spend.



Add/Read: Comments [2]
IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:43:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 3:45:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
It's this kind of data that pushed me to install Ubuntu on my laptop (dual boot with Vista). If I need to venture into untrusted domains, I boot into Ubuntu. Ubuntu was actually the easiest OS install I've ever done. Hardly any questions and it only took about 20 minutes. The best part is everything on my laptop worked right out of the gate -- sound, network (wi-fi too), video, etc... I did have to tweak some things to get MP3s to play (only because it's a proprietary format).

It's lame that we can't get a better grip on the scumbags distributing this crud. It's far too easy for the average person out there to become ensnared.
Steve Sexton
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 8:16:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
And to think its only going to get worse before it gets better.
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