Number of suspicious URLs increase during Q2 – report

22 Aug 2013

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More suspicious URLs sprung up in the second quarter to total 74.7m, reflecting a 16pc hike from the first quarter, a new McAfee Labs report suggests.

These URLs refer to 29m domain names, up 5pc from the previous period, the McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2013 states.

During the quarter that ended 30 June, McAfee Labs recorded monthly an average of 3.5m new suspect URLs related to about 430,000 domains. McAfee Labs is the research arm of security software company McAfee.

“Most of these suspicious URLs (96pc) host malware, exploits, or codes that have been designed specifically to compromise computers,” the report reads. “Phishing and spam represent 2.1pc and 0.3pc, respectively.

“The domains associated with newly suspect URLs are mainly located in North America (chiefly the United States) and Europe – Middle East (chiefly Germany). This trend is not new; North America historically hosts quite a bit of malware and suspect content. However, its influence has dropped to 52pc, compared with 74pc last quarter.”

The increase in suspicious URLs over the second quarter reveals just how important infected sites remain as a distribution channel for malware, McAfee said.

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Tina held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto

editorial@siliconrepublic.com