Trend Micro, the company at the forefront of virus and malware protection published its end of year review, detailing its “Most Dangerous” items with Google topping the list as the world’s most dangerous website.
When end of year lists are published, you expect there to be lists of smartphones, gadgets and the crazy happenings at giant companies like Apple and Microsoft. When defining Google’s role as the world’s most dangerous website, Trend Micro notes that Google’s tremendous popularity has led cybercriminals to use the search engine specifically to launch blackhat SEO schemes that will direct users to malware threats and dangerous advertisments via Adsense.
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WordPress was chosen as the most dangerous website software, specifically for its fragility if left unpatched. If WordPress is not patched regularly, attackers are able to infiltrate websites and steal information, using the compromised websites to form part of redirection chains which helped serve malware or form part of blackhat SEO schemes.
Interestingly, Apple’s OS X was labelled as the riskiest operating system, thanks largely to the company’s desire to keep bugs secret and increasingly long patch cycles. In November, Apple issued a 650MB update patching numerous vulnerabilities, an update that came some five months after the previous patch.
The world’s riskiest social network? That’s easy – it’s Facebook. The social network has 600 million users and is of course going to be subject to a number of phishing scams and attempt account hacks. Survey scams, KOOBFACE malware attacks came to the world’s most popular website as attackers attempted to prey on those who didn’t know how to adequately protect themselves.
The list makes interesting reading, going on to list the world’s riskiest domains, file formats and internet protocols. Given the size of Google’s search portals, we aren’t surprised it ranks as the most dangerous website of 2010. Google will actively change its algorithms to thwart spammers and attackers but techniques constantly evolve to circumvent these measures.
Will Google and Facebook be knocked from their positions at the end of 2011? Something tells us they won’t.