One in 600 social-networking pages host malware

By | August 9, 2006

ScanSafe has released its latest Global Threat Report on Web filtering, spyware and viruses. According to an analysis of more than five billion Web requests in July, ScanSafe found that on average, up to one in 600 profile pages on social-networking sites hosted some form of malware.

The majority of malware identified by ScanSafe was spyware and adware, and ranged from more benign programs that track usage to difficult-to-remove spyware that can affect a user’s Web experience, for example, by redirecting the browser.

Social-networking sites like Facebook, which typically use a university or college email address to verify a user’s identity and LinkedIn, a site used for business networking, tended to be more secure than more open social-networking sites. For example, ScanSafe found no instances of malware on LinkedIn.

In addition to the statistics on social-networking sites, ScanSafe reported that spyware increased 19 percent in July while Web viruses decreased 14 percent. Web viruses identified and blocked by Outbreak IntelligenceTM, the company’s proprietary heuristics engine that can detect zero-hour threats—threats that appear before an anti-virus signature becomes available—increased slightly and accounted for nearly 13 percent of all Web viruses blocked by the company in July.

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