Despite the launch of IE7 and Vista, and despite increased awareness of security threats, malware is still a growing threat. It is growing so fast, in fact, that it seems we have more than twice as many new threats coming out than we did compared to a year ago. On the same token, the number of infected e-mails has actually dropped. Much like Trend Micro is warning about, many of the new threats are web-based ones. In fact, Sophos is identifying an average of 5,000 new infected pages every day. A lot of these, it seems, are due to administrators not properly maintaining their servers:
"What's most worrying is that so many Web sites are falling victim because the owners are failing to properly maintain them and keep up to date with their patches," said Carole Theriault, a senior security consultant at Sophos, in a written statement. "The average Internet user assumes sites like the Miami Dolphins homepage are safe to access, but by targeting a whole range of Internet pages, hackers are successfully infecting a larger number of unwary surfers. Any ill-maintained Web site can fall victim."
Of course, an infected website only helps to amplify the problem – lots of visits, lots of potential infections. The more infections, the faster it can spread. Still, the numbers were surprising – 23,864 new threats in the first quarter of this year alone.