Anti-virus guru explains new virus threat

AVG Technologies today announced some startling statistics about the newest tactics employed by thieves attempting to steal Internet users' personal information and infect their computers with malware. According to the company, each day these scumbags create 200,000-300,000 new web sites with embedded infections, just waiting, like spiders in their webs, to snag the innocent and curious. These sites will remain active for only a day or less, too briefly to register in anti-virus software catalogs of evil sites, and the number of sites is increasing at an alarming rate; up by half in the last three months alone.

I had the opportunity to talk with Roger Thompson, Chief Research Officer of AVG Technologies, about this problem and possible solutions. He explained that one of these "here today, gone tomorrow" sites could infect my PC as soon as I landed on it, even if I didn't click on anything. Of those sites that attempt 'drive-by downloads' onto visitor's computers, 60% are infective for 24 hours or less. The infections range from the annoying, such as adware, to dangerous malware that could pilfer my passwords, account information, and other personal info that could be used to raid my financial accounts.

Thompson, a man with an obvious passion for the security wars, has been engaged in the battle since 1997, a lifetime in the rapidly-evolving computer field. He explained to me that AVG, having become aware of the problem posed by these short-duration web sites, has taken a new approach to combating this web threat.