More than half of corporate websites could be exposing their visitors to malicious software, according to a new report.

The X-Force report, compiled by IBM, warned that inserting malicious code in business websites and exploiting flaws in even the most popular browsers are the new methods being increasingly adopted by hackers to distribute spam and malicious software.

During 2008, 55% the 7,406 vulnerabilities tracked by ISS involved web applications and for three in four of these flaws, no security patch existed, giving a strong explanation as to why attacks that result in the planting on malicious code on legitimate websites are such a problem. Such attacks were 30 times more common in the final six months of 2008, according to the report.

Trojan horse programs targeting users of online gaming and banking services made up 46% of all malware tracked by IBM.

Link spamming – the posting of messages promoting malicious websites in the comment section of blogs and news-related websites – more than doubled during the second half of 2008 whilst China overtook the US as the ‘malware hosting capital of the world’ for the first time in 2008.

The increase highlights the need to ensure that your PC is kept up-to-date with the latest software and security patches, including antivirus software, browsers and operating system. For more information on K7 Total Security and Anti Virus, click here.

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