Based on an analysis of 17 million websites rated by the WOT community, 3 categories emerged as causing the most damage: adult content (28 per cent); software (27 per cent), which includes free and licensed software sold and downloaded over the Internet; and entertainment (16 per cent) sites that include movies, games, music, screensavers and smileys.
In this study we looked at websites with poor reputation (indicated by a red WOT icon). The main vehicle in the above scams is a permanent website, unlike the "throwaway" sites used in phishing attacks carried out with the aid of fraudulent email messages. The details of the study can be read in our press release.
I have recently tested several sites that provide free software, and found out that the risk of getting spyware seems to be really high. I would argue that the easiest way to get spyware – if that’s what you want – is to download a free anti-spyware software!
One of my friends recently downloaded a poker clock into his PC. It is a simple piece of software that tells you for example when it is time to raise bets. Being in a hurry he wasn’t cautious, and not only got affected by spyware but also got a problem in his .NET framework, causing major problems with Microsoft Office. Quite a high price for free software!
How does this study relate to your own experience on the Internet? I also want to share with you this “Top 50 Dangerous Websites” list that was delivered as a by-product of the study.