Web threats have risen significantly in the first quarter of 2008, with one Web page being infected every five seconds, according to a new report from security vendor Sophos.
Released Wednesday, Sophos said in its Security Threat Report that an average of over 15,000 Web pages were compromised daily between January and March.
In contrast, the daily average for the entire 2007 was about 6,000, or one infected Web page every 14 seconds.
About 79 percent of compromised Web pages tracked this year belong to legitimate Web sites, Sophos reported. The company noted that the Web sites of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and even security vendors, have fallen prey to malware attacks.
In addition, there has been a rise in spam-related Web pages — a daily average of 23,300 such pages were tracked during the first three months of 2008. This is equivalent to one spam Web page being discovered every three seconds.
Threats circulated via e-mail, on the other hand, appeared to have cooled off during the first quarter of this year. According to Sophos, only one in 2,500 e-mail messages contained malware — 40 percent fewer than 2007, where one in 909 e-mail messages were infected.
Slightly over 92 percent of all e-mail monitored by Sophos between January and March this year were spam messages. The security vendor analyses millions of new messages on a daily basis.
The United States remains the top contributor of spam, followed by Russia, Turkey, China including Hong Kong, and Brazil.