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What are the most dangerous websites?

(MoneyWatch) Security software company Symantec (SYMC) has released its Internet Security Threat report for 2011, and it is packed with interesting information about the relative risks of online activity.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the report is in the review of malicious code trends, which lists the 10 most dangerous categories of Websites. These categories of sites don't reflect the total number of infected sites; rather, they represent the kind of sites that tend to be the most infected per URL. Here they are in order of danger:

  • Blogs and Web communications
  • Hosting and personal hosted sites
  • Business and economy
  • Education and reference
  • Technology
  • Entertainment and music
  • Automotive
  • Health and medicine
  • Porn

According to Symantec, 20 percent of all blog and Web communication sites are infected with malicious code, 15 percent of hosting sites are infected, and 10 percent of business and economy sites. Surprisingly, a mere 2 percent of pornographic sites are infected. Conventional wisdom would flip that list upside-down.

Symantec reminds us that Macs are no longer immune to security worries:

"The first known Mac-based bot network emerged in 2009 and 2011 saw a number of new threats emerge for Mac OS X, including trojans like MacDefender, a fake anti-virus program. Mac users are exposed to sites that push trojans by means of SEO poisoning and social networking. In May 2011, Symantec found a malware kit for Mac (Weyland-Yutani BOT) -- the first of its kind to attack the Mac OS X platform. In addition, many attack tools have become cross-platform, exploiting Java exploits whether they are on Macs or Windows PCs."

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