The Register (technology news website) last year quoted a research report from the University of Washington, that revealed 1 in 20 files offered for download in a 5 month data sampling span contained sufficient number of malware. These covertly installed programs pose a real threat to surfers now and browser manufacturers have also started designing updates to stop this threat.
However, the study undertaken by Google researchers brought the issue of Drive-by downloads into limelight. Result shows that around 450,000 URLs actively involved in this malpractice. The study analyzed contents of billions of URLs and studied 4.5 million pages in-depth to reach the confirmed figure of sites, successfully launching malware binaries and a further 700,000 URLs were identified with similar threat but with a lesser probability.
The ideal solution to remove Drive-by downloads phenomenon is to scan the whole of web. But since it is not possible in near future, the solution is to keep the guards high and use common sense and obviously, avoid visiting too-good-to-be-true type of websites!’