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In the Media

article imageReport says religious sites are riskier than porn for malware

article:324274:21::0
By Leigh Goessl
May 5, 2012 in Internet
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Over time porn websites gained the notorious reputation for infecting computers with viruses. According to a new report, these are not the most common sites where nasty bugs can infiltrate a computer.
Earlier this week a report was released that indicated web surfers are more likely to be afflicted by online malware through other types of sites, with religious websites topping the list.
Security software company, Symantec, recently released its annual report, the study is entitled Internet Security Threat Report. Symantec is the producer of Norton security products.
The report, released on April 30, noted, "religious and ideological sites were found to have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites," was written in the report [pdf - page 13]. "We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business."
According to Symantec's statistics, religious websites had an average of 115 malware threats while porn sites contained an average of 25. The type of malware on each type of website was different, with "religion/ideologies" websites seeing Fake Antivirus as the primary threat (82 percent) while pornography primarily was infected with trojans (44 percent).
Huffington Post noted how the Wall Street Journal brought up the point that porn sites far outweigh the number of religious sites on the web, which might account for the difference in averages for malware found on religious and porn sites.
Symantec said by examining data collected by its Norton Safe Web32 technology, the company determined 61 percent of malicious websites are "regular websites" infected with malicious code.
Interestingly, while religious/ideology was cited as containing the highest number of infections per site, Symantec's overall list of "dangerous" categories for websites did not have religion listed. "Blogs & Web communications" are listed as the #1 infected type of website; #2 was "Hosting/Personal hosted sites."
In related issues, Symantec also said there has been an 81 percent increase in malicious attacks over 2011, blocking 5.5 billion attacks. The report also highlighted mobile security as an increasingly larger issue. As more people go "smart," Symantec reported mobile vulnerabilities increased by 93 percent in 2011.
article:324274:21::0
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