We know that infecting third-party sites via code injection and other nefarious techniques is a popular technique for distributing malware, but just how widespread is the problem? New data from Google suggests that at least 7 per cent of sites in Australia have been infected with malicious code.
Google has added a new section to its issue-tracking Transparency Report listing the number of sites in countries around the world that have been flagged by its Safe Browsing feature as containing code that tries to install malicious software without the user's knowledge. According to the report, 7 per cent of the 64,906 sites it has recently scanned in Australia contained malware.
Google's new tools also let you see those infections categorised by autonomous systems (networks controlled by a single entity), which in the Australian context is dominated by ISPs and large hosting providers. Over the last three months, NetRegistry and Connect Infobahn topped Google's listings for large providers (those with more than 1000 sites), with 10 per cent of sites hosted in those networks and scanned by Google being flagged as infected by Safe Browsing.
It's worth pointing out that this doesn't necessarily mean those providers are lax, since individual sites are typically managed by their owners, not the hosting provider, and Google only scans a tiny percentage of the active sites in any given network. The figures also oscillate frequently, suggesting a familiar pattern of vulnerabilities emerging, being exploited and then being patched,