Chenxi Wang

In the course of doing research for my upcoming Internet threat report, I came across some worrisome statistics. A Google researcher recently reported approximately 1.3% of all Internet queries would return at least one URL that contain malicious content. A year ago, March 2007, this number was 0.3%. The same report also indicates that 6,000 out of the top 1 million most popular URLs, have been, at one point or another, classified as malicious.

These statistics are indeed worrying. The top one million URLs are the most frequently visited sites, and the fact that a non-trivial percentage of them could be malicious is a previously unknown phenomenon. This underscores the rising difficulty of Web threat detection and defense. The latest statistics from the anti-phishing working group have that the average life time of a phishing site is now at three days (2006 statistic was 4.5 days). Not only are Web threats more wide spread, they are more dynamic as well.

Companies who are using URL filtering and anti-virus only will continue to lose ground, in the face of the more dynamic and stealthy threats. You must consider proactive, real-time malware detection methods to complement your other, more static threat protection mechanisms.