ATLANTA -- Exploit Prevention Labs, the leading developer of anti-exploit software, today released findings from its Exploit Prevalence Survey, the industry's first monthly survey to measure the rise of Internet-borne exploits and zero-day attacks.
Exploits are a new tool being used by international cyber criminal organizations that take advantage of security vulnerabilities in common software applications such as Windows operating systems and browsers.
Most infections occur by what's known as a drive-by download, in which malicious code is force-downloaded onto a user's computer without their knowledge. This occurs the moment the user visits a compromised web site, which in itself likely appears completely innocuous. The payload, usually in the form of a downloader, then exposes the user to damage from spyware, keyloggers, rootkits and other crimeware.
"Many users mistakenly believe as long as they're not visiting pornographic or illegal file sharing sites, they're safe from exploits," said Roger Thompson, CTO of Exploit Prevention Labs and chief researcher for the monthly Exploit Prevalence Survey. "Sadly, our research indicates that even trusted web sites can no longer be trusted."