Hackers create 57,000 malicious pages per week

On average 375 brands and keywords hijacked

Hackers create 57,000 new web pages every week in a bid to infect web users with malicious software, says PandaLabs.

The research arm of security firm Panda Security revealed that on average 375 keywords or brands are hijacked every week and used in the URLs of these malicious web pages.

Furthermore, 65 per cent of these fake websites are designed to look like they belong to banks while 27 per cent hope to fool web users into thinking they're part of online auction sites including eBay.

PandaLabs also said 2.3 per cent of the remaining hoax websites were posing at sites from other financial institutions (such as investment funds or stockbrokers), while 1.9 per cent were created to look like government organisations.

The remaining malicious sites comprised fake payment sites such as Paypal, sites designed to look like they are connected to ISPs and gaming sites.

Panda said that when web users search for these brands and keywords, a link to the malicious website will appear among the results returned. When a web user visits these malicious sites malware will either be downloaded onto the user's computer, or the website spoofs the appearance of a genuine page and fools users into entering their details.

"The problem is that when you visit a website through search engines, it can be difficult for users to know whether it is genuine or not," said Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs,

"For this reason, and given the proliferation of this technique, it is advisable to go to banking sites or online stores by typing in the address in the browser, rather than using search engines."

See also: 13 per cent of UK firms don't use security software

Tags PC securitysecurityebaypanda securityInternet & broadband

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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