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Symantec Report: Malware Makers Setting Sights Via Trusted Sites

Symantec's latest Internet threat report makes clear that the bad guys have shifted the focus of their approach from luring users to malicious sites to placing their malware on legit sites that users know and trust.
Symantec's latest Internet threat report makes clear that the bad guys have shifted the focus of their approach from luring users to malicious sites to placing their malware on legit sites that users know and trust.The trend, among many things pointed out in the security company's Internet Security Threat Report, vol XIII, indicates that the malware-makers are becoming even more aggressive -- and clever, in a bad sort of way -- about getting at you and your customers.

And a fair amount of the blame for the growth of the approach rests on the administrators of those trusted sites.

That is, the malware that makes cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks possible can't get onto legit sites unless a vulnerability exists there.

The vulnerabilities do exist of course -- Symantec reports over 11,000 such individual site vulnerabilities in just the last six months of last year.

But -- and it's a big one -- the failure of the site administrators to patch known vulnerabilities is as big (or, from a business competency perspective, bigger) a problem as the malware.

As Symantec points out about the site vulnerabilities, "only 473 (about 4 percent) of them had been patched by the administrator of the affected Web site..."