Web threats have risen significantly over the past three months according to the findings of the Q1 2008 security report (PDF link) published by Sophos.

Between January and March an average of over 15,000 web pages were compromised every day, or one every five seconds. In comparison, 2007 saw an average of 6,000 a day or one every 14 seconds.

In addition, 79 per cent of all compromised sites belong to legitimate companies, with government agencies, online security vendors and numerous blue chip companies listed among the high-profile victims.

Top host

The report also noted how the US had moved back up the charts to become the top host country for malware, a dubious honour that had previously belonged to China in 2007. Sophos notes that the US had experienced “unprecedented growth” in this area, “almost doubling” its contribution within 12 months.

Elsewhere, there was better news for email users with Sophos estimating that one in every 2500 messages is infected, compared to one in every 909 in 2007.

Naturally enough, the report ends with a warning against complacency and a call to action to ensure readers of the report have adequate protection in place. The very same kind of protection that Sophos’ core business revolves around, oddly enough.