Report: China Home to Half of All Malicious Web Sites
More than half of the Web sites foisting malicious software on visitors are located at networks in China, according to data released today.
Stopbadware.org, a joint project between researchers at Harvard, Oxford and Google, found that 52 percent of the more than 200,000 infected sites the group analyzed in late May were hosted at Chinese networks. In contrast, U.S.-based networks accounted for 21 percent of the bad sites, Stopbadware found.
The sites examined in the study were all reported as malicious by Google, which interestingly enough ranked as the 6th largest source of malicious Web sites in this report, with 4,261 malware sites. Most of those appear to be the result of scammers and virus writers devising ways to automate the creation of sites at Google-owned Blogger.com.
This report was released more than a year after Stopbadware's inaugural malicious sites study, which examined the network distribution of about 50,000 nasty domains. However, earlier this year, Stopbadware released interim statistics. A Stopbadware blog post from March also named Google as the 6th largest source of malicious sites, with roughly 3,772 hostile sites.
The numbers from just one month prior paint a much harsher picture for Google. Stopbadware never published these figures, but a source involved in the group's effort shared data with Security Fix showing Google and Blogger as the 4th largest source of malicious sites, with more than 10,000 such domains. See the comparison charts by clicking on the graphic to the left.
Max Weinstein, project manager for Stopbadware, said the group plans to begin releasing stats on a monthly basis. Weinstein said he believes the spike in malicious domains at Google properties was due to the company's recent aggressiveness in scanning its own sites for malware.
"When that first happened, Google's numbers shot way up," Weinstein said.
Some good news from the report: Last May's study found that U.S. Web host iPowerWeb was home to the largest concentration of malicious Web sites. A subsequent investigation by Security Fix suggested that approximately 33 percent of the company's 700,000+ Web sites were hacked to serve up some kind of malicious software. iPower now appears to have cleaned up its act, as it's not even listed in the top 250 most infected networks in this report.
June 24, 2008; 4:40 PM ET
Categories: Fraud , From the Bunker , Latest Warnings , Safety Tips
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