Yesterday Symantec revealed the top 100 Dirtiest Websites of Summer 2009, or rather the "worst of the worst," generating its list from the number of threats Norton Safe Web has detected as of August 2009. According to the report, 48-percent of those websites listed are adult-based, consisting of malware, browser exploits and security risks. However the list also includes websites focusing on other content such as deer hunting, catering, figure skating, legal services, and buying electronics.
"Simply clicking through to a site with these threats could put you at risk of exposing your computer to infection, and worse, put your identity, personal and financial information into the hands of cybercriminals," the company said.
Symantec provided thirty samples including aladel.net, an American-based site offering a whopping 56,371 threats including the Downloader trojan. Sportsmanclub.net, also based in the U.S., racked up 8,768 threats while U.S.-based purplehoodie.com listed 8,743 threats, also using the Downloader trojan.
"This list underscores what our research shows -- there has been exponential growth in the number of online threats that are constantly evolving as cybercriminals look for new ways to target your money, identity, or assets. In 2008, most new infections occurred while people were surfing the Web(1)," said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president, Consumer Business Unit, Symantec. "Norton Safe Web provides visual ratings that let consumers know about potential risks before visiting a site. Armed with this information, consumers are empowered to make informed decisions about which sites to visit."
Symantec goes on to state that the average number of threats per malicious site rated by Norton Safe Web is 23; for the sites listed on the Dirtiest Websites list, the average is a whopping 18,000 per site. To throw in more confusing numbers, the average is more than 20,000 per site for the list's nastiest destinations, the Top 40.
"Being dirty is nothing new for 75 percent of sites on the list, which have distributed malware for more than six months," the company said.