(PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, July 27, 2010) – Summer has already been heated up by some sporting events, including the World Cup, NBA Finals, LeBron James’ "Decision" and Major League Baseball. Consumers turn to the web to stay up-to-date on scores, news and other sports-related information. But, there are dangers in being a virtual spectator. AVAST Software, providers of the AVAST Antivirus program, has found a number of sports-focused infected websites in its second "America’s Most Wanted" roster of the most infected websites.
Following is a sampling from the month’s "Most Wanted" list:1
Not all infected websites are designed to spread malware – but some are. "It is difficult to characterize sites with 100 percent certainty because we see the infection but usually do not know who placed it," said Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Technical Officer at AVAST Software. "Some are stealth sites, providing just enough content to be noticed by search engines but have the actual goal of infecting unsuspecting consumers. Other sites such as cybergolf or mosportsmen.com (Missouri Sportsmen) seem to be legitimate sites but have still gotten infected – probably unknown to their web administrators – and can spread this to visitors."
AVAST Software receives non-stop information about infected sites thanks to its Community global network of sensors. This data, taken from the actual web browsing experiences of an opt-in group, is then used to protect all AVAST users by blocking their access to infected sites. This flow of information responds quickly to real-time events such as the World Cup games in South Africa.
"This has been an active summer for sports fans, and hackers are taking advantage of this," explains Mr. Vlcek. "In South Africa alone, we noticed a 200 percent increase in the number of infected web pages at the .co.za domain and successfully prevented 200,000 fans from visiting them and getting infected.
To help keep users – sports fans or not – protected against most infected websites, AVAST offers the following ways to steer clear of hackers and malware: