A year ago, he recalled, one out of every 40 e-mails traveling through the Internet contained a virus; now that number is one in 300. "The malware writers, in order to increase their rate of success, have taken to putting URLs in their spam because you're much more likely to click on a link to a Web site than you are to click on an attachment," he explained.
As O'Brien brings out, these aren't sites that are just going to turn up out of the blue during your ordinary browsing. The developers for these sites still face the problem of getting people to visit them unaware, such as through email, compromising another site or selling loaded ad banners.
One thing is for sure, though. Unlike the early days of the Internet, most malicious users aren't out there for the fun of it or just to cause trouble – they're in it for money. Malware is a business, and apparently a profitable one.