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News

Video Content Generates Largest Number Of Web-Based Infections

Symantec : 17 January, 2011  (Technical Article)
A study from Symantec shows that video content searches are the most frequent cause of web-based attacks with adult content and streaming video being the most dangerous
A new report from Symantec reveals that the majority of computers being infected via web-based attacks are the  result of users searching for video-based content. Symantec analysed search terms that resulted in malicious websites being visited and the number of malicious website hits that then occurred. The findings in the Symantec report on Attack Toolkits and Malicious Websites show that 65 per cent of computer infections occurred as a result of searches for video-based content. Of this figure, 44 per cent were for adult entertainment sites and 21 per cent for generic video streaming content.

 

The infection figures dwarfed other search terms that people commonly use, such as for social networking (3 per cent), games (3 per cent) music (2 per cent) and celebrities (1 per cent). The findings are a clear warning that users searching for online video content at home or at work run the real risk of computer infections.

 

In Symantec’s opinion, video is attractive to attackers because of the very large base of users and the fact that visitors to these sites are more likely to have multimedia player plug-ins installed. Any vulnerabilities in the plug-ins may make them more open to the attackers’ toolkit exploits and increase the chance of attacks being successful.
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