Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

10% of web pages host malware according to Google

Did you see the article about Goggles research that said that 10% of web pages are hosting malware? Pretty scary stuff. Especially the part about most of it coming from banner ads and such. That means that the web site owner may not even know that they are hosting it.

Most of us aren't even fans of banner ads and this is another reason to not like them. I understand that the web site owners make money off of them and that allows them to do what they do without charging the site users a fee to visit the site, but we still just don't like banner ads.

Now for the security implications of this. Any time you post code on your site that points to another server you are opening yourself and your visitors up to potentially being compromised. How do web masters deal with this? What do they need to do to mitigate the risk associated with something like this?

Obviously the first thing is to do a review of the site that is being referenced as well as the code that they give you to put on your site. Then you have to be diligent to keep an eye on things to ensure that nothing changes over time. Just because it is (or appears to be) secure when you check it doesn't mean that it won't change.

Banner ads won't go away for a while so just as with everything else we need to be careful. Users need to be wary about what ads they click on. Stay away from those ads that take you to the "darker" side of the Internet. Stay away from those that go to places that you aren't familiar with. Just because it looks pretty doesn't mean that it is pretty.

Again I have to go back to education being a big part of the answer. Site owners have to be educated on how to operate a safe site and users have to know how to surf safely.


kurt wismer said...

banner ads, you say...

adblock and noscript are wonderful things...

Andy, ITGuy said...

Kurt, Great point. I didn't even think about these things and I use them daily. We just need to get more people to use Firefox and extensions such as this. That's where education comes in. :)

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