The study, conducted by security vendor Commtouch, indicates that the number of websites created specifically for malicious purposes is growing at an unprecedented rate.
"The average of nearly 11,500 new threats every day increases the digital foothold of cybercriminals as well as the likelihood that victims will stray into dangerous territory," the study says. "The malware endangers businesses and end users with a wide range of threats, including password and identity theft, use of hacked PCs as bots for spam, denial of service attacks, and a growing favorite of cybercriminals - encrypting and then ransoming critical data."
Some 173,314 of the newly detected sites are malware sites, according to Commtouch. Spam sites accounted for 56,503 of the total, and phishing sites accounted for 114,110.
"Malware sites typically rely on exploit kits that seek out known vulnerabilities in the browser, operating system, or PDF reader software, among others, and then use these vulnerabilities to gain control of the visiting computer or smartphone," the study states. "The majority of phishing sites targeted PayPal users, but an increasing number aimed for the Google credentials of users, since these credentials open up an increasing range of linked Google services."
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