SOURCE: Websense

July 29, 2008 08:00 ET

NEW RESEARCH: Web 2.0 and "Legit" Web Sites Are Latest Playground for Information-Stealing Computer Criminals

New Websense Security Labs Research Shows 75 Percent of Malicious Sites Are From Legitimate, Trusted Sources With "Good" Reputation Scores

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - July 29, 2008) - Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN)

Highlights / Key Facts:

-- 60 percent of the top 100 most popular Web sites either hosted malicious content or contained a masked redirect to lure unsuspecting victims from legitimate sites to malicious sites, according to new research released today from Websense Security Labs™. The top 100 most popular Web sites, many of which are social networking, Web 2.0 and search sites, represent the majority of all Web page views and are the most popular target for attackers. With their large user base, good reputations and support for Web 2.0 applications, these sites provide malicious code authors with abundant opportunity.

-- In the first half of 2008 more than 75 percent of the Web sites Websense® classified as malicious were actually sites with seemingly "good" reputations that had been compromised by attackers. This represents a 50 percent increase from the second half of 2007.

-- More than 45 percent of the top 100 most popular Web sites support user-generated content.

-- Websense Security Labs found that 29 percent of malicious Web attacks included data-stealing code, demonstrating that attackers are after essential information and data.

-- The convergence of blended Web and email threats continues to increase. Websense Security Labs reports that now more than 76.5 percent of all emails in circulation in the past six months contained links to spam sites and/or malicious Web sites. This represents an 18 percent increase since December 2007.

-- Websense Security Labs uses the patent-pending Websense ThreatSeeker™ Network to discover, classify and monitor global Internet threats and trends. Security researchers use the Internet security intelligence from the system, which includes more than 50 million real-time data collecting systems that parse one billion pieces of content daily, to publish security trends and protect customers.

Links / URLs:


-- SC Magazine podcast:Super Cybercrime with Websense Chief Technology Officer Dan Hubbard

-- Websense YouTube Channel:


-- Websense Security Labs ThreatSeeker Network Whitepaper:

-- Websense Security Labs presentation from CanSec 2008: "Web-Wreckutation"

-- Websense Security Labs site:


--  "Today attackers are overwhelmingly forgoing creating their own
    malicious sites and targeting legitimate Web sites that have a built in
    base of visitors," said Dan Hubbard, chief technology officer,
    Websense. "There is an element of trust in the Web 2.0 world that the
    Web sites we frequent every day are safe, but attackers are taking
    advantage of the 'good reputations' of Web sites to launch attacks.
    Most Web security and URL filtering technology today heavily rely on
    a Web sites' reputation, but this method is outdated. In terms of
    security, the URL doesn't matter anymore -- it's all about the dynamic
    content that is served up on the page. To safely use the Internet
    today, organizations need Web security protection that can analyze the
    content on the Web page in real-time."

--  "With legitimate Web sites that our employees may try to go to for
    business reasons, increasingly getting compromised by criminals, the
    research on the latest threats and the Web security protection from
    Websense is critical to our organization," said Websense customer Tim
    Lawrence, information technology (IT), security analyst at

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About Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in integrated Web, messaging and data protection technologies, provides Essential Information Protection™ for more than 42 million employees at more than 50,000 organizations worldwide. Distributed through its global network of channel partners, Websense software and hosted security solutions help organizations block malicious code, prevent the loss of confidential information and enforce Internet use and security policies. For more information, visit

Websense and Websense Enterprise are registered trademarks of Websense, Inc. in the United States and certain international markets. Websense has numerous other unregistered trademarks in the United States and internationally. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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