Sophos, a world leader in IT security and control, has revealed
the most prevalent malware threats causing problems for computer
users around the world during May 2007.
The figures compiled by Sophos's global network of monitoring
stations show that infected web pages continue to pose a threat,
affecting official government websites as well as other legitimate
pages. On average this month, Sophos uncovered 9,500 new infected
web pages daily - an increase of more than 1000 every day when
compared to April. In total, 304,000 web pages hosting malicious
code were identified in May.
The top ten list of web-based malware threats in May 2007 reads
Iframe, which works by injecting malicious code onto legitimate
web pages, continues to dominate the chart, accounting for almost
two thirds of all web-based threats in May. The three newcomers,
Redlof, Roor and Soraci, are all appending viruses, infecting,
amongst others, HTM, HTML and HTT files. The appearance of these
relatively old viruses (for example, Sophos has provided protection
against Soraci for two years), in the chart illustrates that many
web administrators are failing to keep their websites safe from
hackers intent on compromising their pages.
"Attacks spreading on the web are becoming more frequent and
more problematic for businesses every month," explained Carole Theriault, senior
security consultant at Sophos. "Malicious sites don't need to host
malware to be dangerous - we are also seeing and blocking access to
600 new phishing pages each day".
"It's no longer enough for businesses simply to filter websites
based on category - the real nasty attacks are most often found
lurking on legitimate web pages," continued Theriault. "This is a
wake up call for organizations with a website: being out of date
with patches and running inadequate security has very real
The top ten list of countries hosting malware-infected web pages
in May 2007, reads as follows:
||China (inc.Hong Kong)
China, responsible for hosting more than 50 percent of infected
web pages identified by Sophos, has retained its position at the
top of the chart. The country's continued dominance is largely down
to increased reports of Iframe, which has been widely reported on
unprotected Chinese web pages.
Thailand has entered the chart for the first time at number
five. Sophos research found that many of the infected web pages
hosted in Thailand are on government websites that have been
infected by malware.
"The fact that malware is being found on legitimate government
websites shows again that any organisation can be hit if it is not
vigilant," said Theriault. "Web surfers need to be careful too -
they are the ones that these sites are targeting: be wary of spam
which entices you to click on web links, even if the link looks
legitimate. Keep your anti-virus and security patches up to date,
and talk to your administrator or ISP about blocking access to
The top ten list of email-based malware threats in May 2007
reads as follows:
In May, Sober was the most prevalent email-borne attack,
toppling Netsky from its top position and accounting for almost one
third of all threats. Sober's dominance in the chart is primarily
due to a huge outbreak on May 1st that coincided with May Day
across Europe. During this 24-hour period, Sober accounted for
nearly 70 percent of all infected email identified by Sophos.
A graphic of the top ten email-based malware chart is available.
The top ten hoaxes and chain letters in May were as follows: