Blogs Hosting Malware, ScanSafe Says
Published: April 25, 2007
by Alex Woodie
Be careful when traversing the blogosphere, as there is malware lurking about. That's the warning issued by Web security firm ScanSafe, which this week issued a security threat report that prompts organizations to pay closer attention to the blogs their users are visiting, and implement change if necessary.
ScanSafe is a San Mateo, California, company that provides Web security via the software as a service (SaaS) delivery method. Customers divert their Web and instant message (IM) traffic to ScanSafe, where malware and viruses are weeded out, offensive content is filtered out, and usage policies can be enforced.
Every month, the company issues a report that takes a closer look at the actual traffic it sees from its customers' sites. The report for March found an 8 percent decrease in viruses transmitted over the Web compared to February, and a 34 percent increase in spyware.
ScanSafe took a special look at blogs in the latest report, and found that 6 percent of the world's blogs contain malware. That may not sound like a big number. But for organizations with users active in blogs, it greatly increases the chances that they will run across a site hosting viruses, Trojan horses, worms, or other assorted nasty afflictions. What's more, a full 80 percent of blogs contained what ScanSafe labeled as "offensive content," meaning adult language or pornographic images.
While nearly four out of five blogs may not be safe for work, ScanSafe figures suggest organizations aren't doing enough to block the Web sites. Only about a third of ScanSafe's customers had users who tried to access a blocked blog, compared to three-quarters of customers blocking search sites or portals.
"Blogs are a great vehicle for self-expression and the exchange of ideas," said Dan Nadir, vice president of product strategy at ScanSafe. "Employees visiting these sites can unknowingly expose corporate networks to legal liability, viruses, and loss of proprietary information."
"The upswing in spyware is consistent with the seasonal ebb and flow," Nadir said. "We see these peaks and valleys in malware, but the overall trend is an upward one."
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