Hosted in China: Malware-Infested Web Sites - Protect Your System Online
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So what can businesses and web surfers do to protect themselves from this growing threat? While it is true that three countries currently host just over three-quarters of all malware-infested web pages, avoiding web sites hosted in China, the United States and Russia won't work. "Hackers are hijacking web sites around the world to make them point to malware on sites based in China, the U.S. and Russia," noted Carole Theirault, Sophos senior security consultant.
So what does work? According to Genes, if you're a business it is very difficult (unless you adopt some of the consumer practices, which will be discussed in a bit). Email security can be outsourced, but with Internet security, "You're talking about massive investments from the hosting sites to do this at an acceptable speed via an external proxy. I haven't seen this model really working. There are some start-ups offering this, but I wonder how much money they lose every month."
If you're a consumer, you should regularly patch your operating system and your browser. Genes advises the use of alternative browsers, and against the use of widespread browsers like Internet Explorer. "This doesn't mean that FireFox does not have vulnerabilities," he explained, "but most of the Web threats we are seeing are connected to having Internet Explorer. By moving to an alternative browser, you already do a kind of risk mitigation."
Another important step a consumer can take is to install security software. Genes sees this as a baseline step that everyone should take, rather like patching an operating system. The Trend Micro CTO offers this cautionary note, however: "We could come out and say we will be able to protect all our users. Be we never will be able to offer 100 percent protection. Nobody can."
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