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  • 14 February 2013 10:14

Websense 2013 Threat Report: Nearly 600 Percent Increase in Global Malicious Websites; 85 Percent on Legitimate Sites

Websense Security Labs exposes pressing cybercriminal threats and need for real-time security defences and data theft protection

Sydney - February 14 2013 - Research findings released today from Websense® Security Labs™, the worldwide research team from Websense, Inc.(NASDAQ: WBSN), report explosive year-over-year growth in global cyberattack trends.

“Year-over-year, the number of malicious web-based attacks increased by nearly 600 percent,” said Charles Renert, vice president of the Websense Security Labs. “These attacks were staged predominantly on legitimate sites and challenge traditional approaches to security and trust. The timed, targeted nature of these advanced threats indicates a new breed of sophisticated attacker who is intent on compromising increasingly higher-yield targets. Only proactive, real-time security techniques, that inspect the entire lifecycle of a threat, can withstand the assault and prevent data theft.”

Below are key Websense 2013 Threat Report findings, based on a year-over-year comparison of web, email, data, mobile and social media threats: · Each week, organisations faced an average of 1,719 attacks for every 1,000 users.

· Malicious websites increased by nearly 600 percent worldwide.

· North American malicious sites increased by 720 percent and EMEA saw a 531 percent increase.

· Legitimate web hosts were home to 85 percent of those malicious sites.

· Half of web-connected malware downloaded additional executables in the first 60 seconds.

· Only 7.7 percent of malware interacted with the system registry - circumventing many behavioural detection systems and antivirus solutions.

· 32 percent of malicious links in social media used shortened URLs. Once cybercriminals gain access to a host they typically hide their own malicious pages deep in the directory tree - a process that generates very long and complex web links that might tip off a wary user. Link shortening solves that problem.

· The United States of America, Russia and Germany were the top three countries hosting malware. Meanwhile, the Bahamas made its debut into the list of top five countries hosting phishing sites with a second place ranking.

· China, the United States of America and Russia were the top three countries hosting command and control servers.

· Only one in five emails were legitimate and email spam increased to 76 percent. Worldwide spam volumes reached more than a quarter of a million emails per hour.

· One in 10 malicious mobile applications asked for permission to install other apps, something rarely required by legitimate apps.

Analysis and news headlines show that multistage attacks with multiple vectors have challenged security capabilities as they worked to find weak spots and circumvent defences. Attacks identified in the Websense 2013 Threat Report indicate a need for integration at the actual defence level and deep content security intelligence with real-time security defences. When independent solutions are in place, there is no way to ensure that email, web, mobile, social and data loss defences are each prepared to perform their role to cohesively address an emerging threat. As a result, individual defences are at the mercy of the least prepared security solution.

Real-time security defences and shared intelligence serves as the backbone for the award-winning Websense TRITON™ architecture. Websense TRITON unifies all the key components of threat protection and data theft prevention into a cohesive content security system. It brings together web security, email security, mobile security and data loss prevention (DLP) defences with unified security intelligence and a unified management console. This intelligence is derived from more than 100 Websense Security Labs researchers worldwide, managing more than 10,000 analytics from analysis of up to five billion requests per day.

To download the Websense 2013 Threat Report, please visit

For ongoing research updates, be sure to follow the Websense Security Labs blog:

For more information about Websense TRITON solutions, please visit .

About Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in unified web security, email security, mobile security, and data loss prevention (DLP), delivers the best content security for modern threats at the lowest total cost of ownership to tens of thousands of enterprise, mid-market and small organisations around the world. Distributed through a global network of channel partners and delivered as appliance-based software or SaaS-based cloud services, Websense TRITON content security solutions help organisations leverage social media and cloud-based communication, while protecting from advanced persistent threats and modern malware, preventing the loss of confidential information, and enforcing internet use and security policies. Websense is headquartered in San Diego, California with offices around the world. For more information, visit

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