The invisible online threat

Cyber criminals are using malicious software embedded invisibly in popular websites to obtain valuable information from people visiting the sites, according to online security firm AVG.

iTNews reports that AVG’s global security strategist Larry Bridwell believes that while malware has always been a problem with rogue websites, he is now seeing it embedded in popular, mainstream websites.

In Australia earlier this month, a majority of Sensis websites including Whitepages, Telstra BigPond and Yellowpages had to remove advertising on their site after a local security professional and Microsoft MVP discovered malicious malware embedded in the ads.

“How many of you would think that if you went to the Bank of India site you will get malicious software downloaded?” Bridwell says. “How many would think that if you Googled ‘Better Business Bureau’, you would have 140 variants of malware downloaded on to your machine, and this from taking the top pick from Google AdWords?”

Bridwell believes this invisible malware – placed on sites without the knowledge of their owners and unwittingly downloaded by visitors – will be the biggest online threat for 2008.


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