Scammers create 57,000 fake web pages - every week

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Well, we thought we were prolific, but we've got nothing on the wrold's hackers, who are creating 57,000 new fake web addresses every week.

According to PandaLabs, in an average week hackers use some 375 different high-profile names and company brands, nearly two-thirds of them banks. A further 27 percent are designed to look as if they belong to online stores or auction sites.

The most frequently used keywords are eBay, Western Union and Visa, followed by Amazon, Bank of America, Paypal and the US revenue service.

"The problem is that when you visit a website through search engines, it can be difficult for users to know whether it is genuine or not," says Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

"For this reason, and given the proliferation of this technique, it is advisable to go to banking sites or online stores by typing in the address in the browser, rather than using search engines which, although they are making an effort to mitigate the situation by changing indexing algorithms, cannot fully evade the great avalanche of new web addresses being created by hackers every day”.

Panda monitored and analyzed the major Black Hat SEO attacks of the last three months.

It found that 65 percent of fake websites mimic those of banks. Other financial institutions such as investment funds or stockbrokers accounted for 2.3 percent of pages, and the US revenue service for 1.9 percent.

Payment platforms, led by Paypal, ISPs were fifth and sixth most popular, while gaming sites – headed by World of Warcraft - followed.

As in previous years, says Panda, malware or phishing was mainly carried out via email - and this year in particular, hackers have opted for BHSEO techniques. This involves the creation of fake websites using the names of famous brands or celebrities so that when users search for these names, a link to the malicious website will appear among the first results returned.

McAfee recently reported that Cameron Diaz was the riskiest celebrity for whom to search.