Hackers targeting smaller Web sites

Aug. 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- An estimated 8 million Web pages have been hijacked and set up to take control of the computers of unsuspecting site visitors, U.S. security researchers said.

In a new style of hacking on the Internet, the sites are mostly those of smaller merchants and professional companies, Web site security company Armorize said.

A criminal gang using computer servers located in Ukraine is responsible for converting the legitimate Web sites into delivery mechanisms for "drive-by downloads" of malicious software that silently steals account passwords, identity data and credit card data, Wayne Huang, chief technical officer at Armorize, told USA Today.

The infected computer also can be recruited into a "botnet," a network of infected PCs controlled by the hackers to spread spam and engage in other criminal activities, security researchers say.

"The misuse of numerous small sites is making the Internet a much more dangerous place," says Alena Varkockova, lab analyst at anti-virus company Avast. "Even the unimportant sites can do big harm when misused."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kim Jong Un had terrapin farm manager executed, says source
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
North Korea requests medical aid from U.N. agencies
Encroaching sea levels endanger Pakistan's Indus Delta
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy