Web threats encompass a broad array of threats that originate from the Internet. Web threats are sophisticated in their methods, using a combination of various files and techniques rather than a single file or approach. For example, web threat creators constantly change the version or variant used. Because the web threat is in a fixed location of a website rather than on an infected endpoint, the web threat creator constantly modifies its code to avoid detection.
In recent years, individuals once characterized as hackers, virus writers, spammers, and spyware makers have become known as cyber criminals. Web threats help these individuals pursue one of two goals. One goal is to steal information for subsequent sale. The resulting impact is leakage of confidential information in the form of identity loss. The infected endpoint may also become a vector to deliver phish attacks or other information capturing activities. Among other impacts, this threat has the potential to erode confidence in web commerce, corrupting the trust needed for Internet transactions. The second goal is to hijack a user’s CPU power to use it as an instrument to conduct profitable activities. Activities include sending spam or conducting extortion in the form of distributed denial-of-service attacks or pay-per-click activities.