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Online Spot check revealed 5m malware sites

Webroot Software (opens in new tab) announced the most common forms of malicious security threats in the UK during the month of October.

“Spyware has become increasingly complex and sophisticated. The technology behind spyware has become so far advanced, and is moving so quickly, that manual detection methods utilised by many security companies and freeware providers can’t keep up with it,” said Peter Watkins, CEO of Webroot Software, Inc.

He continued, “Webroot’s dedicated Threat Research Center has proactively identified five million sites that host malicious spyware utilising the PhileasTM spyware research system. It utilises a patent-pending technology to scour the entire Web to discover spyware faster and more efficiently than any other detection method available. As a result, this automated, high-speed system keeps consumers and businesses safer with better blocking, detection and removal rates.”

In a similar survey carried out back in July, Webroot (opens in new tab) had identify Coowebsearch as the most prevalent threat online with 60 different variants.

During the month of October, one of the most widespread infections in the UK was Comet Cursor, a piece of adware.

Adware is capable of tracking a user’s online habits and transmitting this information to a third party.

Additionally, adware delivers pop-up ads which can cause overall system performance issues and dramatically slow your browser.

In Webroot’s monthly analysis of the most common forms of malicious attack, conducted by the Phileas automated spyware research system, Trojan Downloader-Zlob is identified as being the most common form of Trojan. The Trojan, which has dominated Webroot’s list of most common and critical threats for over six months so far, silently downloads and installs rogue security programs such as AntispyStorm, Ultimate Fixer, and Ultimate Defender, but may install other malware as well.

Some variants of Trojan-Downloader.Zlob have backdoor functionality, giving a remote attacker the ability to control and use the infected machine for malicious purposes.

Following closely behind Trojan Downloader-Zlob is Trojan.gen and LdPinch Trojan, also a critical threat.

A Trojan is a program that allows a hacker to make changes to your computer.

In some instances, a third party may gain access to your computer and steal your identity or download so much spyware that it renders your computer useless.

Second to potentially rootkit-masked files, Webroot has identified 007 Spy as being this month’s most common system monitor.

This is downloadable software able to record the activities of a computer.

This is only considered a critical threat if the PC user is unaware of it being installed on their computer.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.