380,000 new webpages infected since the start of September

IT security and control firm Sophos today announced the availability of a new service, Sophos WebAlert, providing website administrators with notification if their site is hosting malicious code. Experts at the firm have produced a video demonstrating how the service works in simple terms using children's toys.

KEY FACTS:
- Sophos threat experts on average detect one new infected webpage every five seconds, and have identified over 380,000 new webpages carrying malware since the beginning of September. Over 90 percent of these webpages belong to legitimate sites that have been compromised through hacking techniques such as SQL Injection.

- Infected websites pose a threat to all internet users - as simply visiting the site can infect unprotected web users.

- It is not just small websites that suffer from such attacks. Victims in the past few months have included BusinessWeek, Yahoo! TV, British government websites, UNICEF, MySpace, Sony PlayStation, and the International Tennis Federation.

- Sophos WebAlert is available at no additional change to customers of Sophos's Premium and Platinum Support services

QUOTE:
"For too long it has been child's play for hackers to infect websites without the owner of the site ever being aware. Many firms have still not coded their websites correctly or taken the preventative measures necessary to stop infections like this occurring. Sophos WebAlert provides companies with visibility as to whether their websites are being attacked."
Carole Theriault, senior security consultant, Sophos.

RESOURCES FOR JOURNALISTS AND BLOGGERS:

A video, "Sophos WebAlert explained with children's toys", is available for media to link to or embed on their own websites.

High-res version of video: Viddler.com - Sophos WebAlert - explained with children's toys - Uploaded by SophosLabs

Lower-res version of video: YouTube - Sophos WebAlert - explained with children's toys

FURTHER INFORMATION:

- More information on Sophos WebAlert : Sophos - WebAlert Service

- "Introducing Sophos WebAlert", a video and blog post by Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos: Graham Cluley's blog

- Podcast of Carole Theriault and Sophos principal virus researcher Fraser Howard, discussing the threat posed by web infections:
http://podcasts.sophos.com/en/sophos-podcast-032.mp3