Personal websites – a hacker’s paradise

Free personal web hosting is providing a safe-haven for hackers, spammers and wielders of malicious code.

A report from data management company Websense shows that since January 2005 there have been more than 2,500 incidents of websites distributing malware.

"It's an expansion of blogging websites being used to do the same thing," said Ross Paul, EMEA product manager at Websense. "Everything from music websites to greeting cards has been used in the past."

According to Paul using free personal hosting websites has been particularly successful, as highlighted by the rapid rise in number of sites used. In the first three months of July there were more than in May and June put together.

"You still need good social engineering to get onto these sites and user education will help battle that, but who is to say these sites won't continue to be more popular," said Paul. "It falls to the providers to produce better security, update patches and protect users. But they are unlikely to do that until there is a financial incentive or the bad press becomes too much."

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