THE UK'S MOST POPULAR WEBSITES are running crappy code, and are riddled with bugs and vulnerabilities, at least according to one security report.
That report comes from Menlo Security, a local firm that has studied the top 50 sites in the UK, as ranked by web analyst Alexa, and found that they all run unknown scripts and that kind of caper.
Jason Steer, Menlo Security solutions architect of EMEA, did the studying, and it's fair to say he was a little-taken aback by what he discovered.
"It's been a while since I really looked at the top 50 UK websites in any detail, so there were a few surprises when I revisited the list. Of no surprise, at number 17 was a sinkholed malware domain that would indicate there are clearly a large number of infected computers still to clean up in the UK," he said.
"News sites and social media dominated the top 20, with Google and Facebook taking over the top five spots. Banking and retail were also well represented throughout the top 50 list. There were even two adult content sites in the top 50 and one of my favorite house/property search sites made it at number 20."
Steer found more scripts than you might find in a Hollywood agent's office, with one website harbouring a staggering 125. The smallest haul, found on a lone site, was one script. On average, he said, visiting a top 50 UK site will see your browser execute 19 scripts.
"There are many legitimate reasons why developers use scripts to enhance the user experience of a website today, but similarly attackers can use scripting capabilities for iframe redirects and malvertising links to compromise browsers," he warned.
"Security professionals have been using browser plugins like NoScript for years, however it makes the web surfing experience much harder and for many non-technical users, it's not really an option to deploy, meaning the vast majority of users cannot make an educated choice on script permissions." µ
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