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Every 3.6 Seconds a Website is Infected According to Sophos

Every 3.6 Seconds a Website is Infected According to Sophos

Infected websites have been the single biggest threat over the past six months, and the threat vectors that have seen the most growth are Web 2.0 and social networking technologies, according to the report, which was released Wednesday by security firm Sophos.

Approximately 23,500 infected webpages are discovered every day – that's a new one every 3.6 seconds, according to Sophos' recently released July security threat report. That infection rate is faster than in 2008, during which the first half of that year saw a newly infected website being identified every 4.5 seconds, Richard Wang, manager, Sophos Labs U.S. told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday.

“Compromised sites are the threat that people are most likely to encounter,” Wang said.

Over the past few months, security firms have frequently warned about a number of the mass-compromise attacks, such as Gumblar, Belanden or Nine-Ball, all of which were said to have compromised tens of thousands of legitimate sites by injecting them with malicious code that redirects users to malware.

Another increasingly worrisome problem for organizations are threats originating from social networks, according to the report. Going forward, cybercriminals will continue to try out different techniques utilizing Web 2.0 technology, such as writing code that works across social networks, Wang said. Recently, one piece of malware distributed through Facebook was designed to steal Twitter credentials. It then aimed to send posts from compromised Twitter accounts directing users to malicious websites, Wang said. According to the report, a quarter of businesses have already been victims of spam, phishing or malware attacks propagated on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn.

“IT departments have been saying for years, 'don't click on spam and open attachments,' but haven't gotten across that social networks can also be sources of potentially dangerous material,” Wang said.

In addition, social networking sites themselves are to blame for this trend, having grown quickly without putting adequate security in place to keep users secure, Graham Cluley, Sophos' senior technology consultant, told SCMagazineUS.com on Wednesday.

“They have very successfully gathered a huge audience, but they are not necessarily keeping them safe,” Cluley said.

Cluley recommended that social networking sites now must do their part by focusing more on security. He said they should be scanning messages sent between social networking users to determine if they are spam. Also, these organizations should analyze traffic for suspicious behavior – if hundreds of Tweets all say the exact same thing, for example, they may have been posted by compromised accounts. 

Besides leveraging Web 2.0 technologies and compromising websites, malware authors have also been diligently writing new exploits during the past six months. Currently 22.5 million identified malware samples are in existence – an all time high, Wang said. Twelve months ago, there were only 12. 3 million samples total, he added.

“In the last 12 months the criminals and hackers have written as much malicious software as the total of all the years up to that combined,” Wang said.

In addition, 40,000 new suspicious files are examined every day in Sophos' Lab, the report states.

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Penalized by Google? Here are some tips for reconsideration by Google.

Penalized by Google?  Here are some tips for reconsideration by Google.

Do you think your site might be penalized because of something that happened on it? As two leaders of the reconsideration team, we recently made a video to help you discover how to create a good reconsideration request, including tips on what we look for on our side. Watch the video and then let us know if you have questions in the comments!

 

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CMS security recommendations for Drupal and WordPress

CMS security recommendations for Drupal and WordPress

Germany's Federal Office for Information Security performed a security analysis on some of the most prevalent Web content management systems, including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, and recommended that a CMS never be run in its standard configuration. What was your reaction to their report, and how should enterprises approach CMS security?

Organizations of all shapes and sizes use CMS products to quickly and easily organize and update website content quickly and easily. These products are designed to make it simple for non-IT professionals to automate many content management tasks, including publishing press releases, tagging content with keywords and other labels, and cross-linking to related content on the site, all while keeping the site SEO-friendly and searchable.

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Adobe Hackers Stole Information From More Users Than Previously Reported

Adobe Hackers Stole Information From More Users Than Previously Reported

Adobe hackers stole more information than previously reported. A lot more. Initial reports stated fewer than 3 million users were affected by the security breach, when in actuality 38 million consumers were compromised. The software giant that is used by millions to complete everyday tasks for work and play, with programs like Photoshop, says hackers were able to obtain the IDs and encrypted passwords of 38 million active users. “We have completed email notification of these users. We also have reset the passwords for all Adobe IDs with valid, encrypted passwords that we believe were involved in the incident, regardless of whether those users are active or not,” Adobe said of the hacker attack in KresbonSecurity, the cyber security website that exposed the breach.

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Hackers compromise official PHP website, infect visitors with malware

Hackers compromise official PHP website, infect visitors with malware

Maintainers of the open-source PHP programming language have locked down the php.net website after discovering two of its servers were hacked to host malicious code designed to surreptitiously install malware on visitors' computers.

The compromise was discovered Thursday morning by Google's safe browsing service, which helps the Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers automatically block sites that serve drive-by exploits. Traces of the malicious JavaScript code served to some php.net visitors were captured and posted to Hacker News here and, in the form of a pcap file, to a Barracuda Networks blog post here. The attacks started Tuesday and lasted through Thursday morning, PHP officials wrote in a statement posted late that evening.

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