Websense Master Database Grows to More than 15 Million Active Websites

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Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), the world’s leading provider of employee internet management solutions, today announced that the Websense® Master Database now contains more than 15 million active websites, including sites infected with malicious code such as viruses and keyloggers. Working in conjunction with the company’s award-winning web filtering and web security software, the Websense Master Database enables sophisticated filtering options for organizations to protect their computers, networks, endpoints and mobile devices against new web-based threats as well as objectionable content.

Websense has more than 10 years of specialized internet mining expertise, and the growth that we have seen over the past year in malicious content has been astonishing

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), the world’s leading provider of employee internet management solutions, today announced that the Websense® Master Database now contains more than 15 million active websites, including sites infected with malicious code such as viruses and keyloggers. Working in conjunction with the company’s award-winning web filtering and web security software, the Websense Master Database enables sophisticated filtering options for organizations to protect their computers, networks, endpoints and mobile devices against new web-based threats as well as objectionable content.

The Websense Master Database is the most accurate, up-to-date database in the industry. Recent increases to the Master Database reflect the continual growth of the internet as an attack vector by today’s cyber-criminals. The Websense database reached 10 million sites in May 2005 and quickly grew to 15 million sites within approximately eight months. Today, the database includes more than 90 categories, such as spyware, phishing and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, which organizations can use to protect employees against malicious internet sites as well as set flexible filtering policies for employee web usage.

“Websense has more than 10 years of specialized internet mining expertise, and the growth that we have seen over the past year in malicious content has been astonishing,” said Patrick Swisher, director, database operations for Websense, Inc. “As our knowledge of the internet continues to increase, so does our ability to create more sophisticated processes to classify these types of high-risk sites and provide our customers with greater protection. Our award-winning software has the ability to proactively discover and immediately protect our customers against the most ominous web-based threats such as spyware, bots, phishing attacks, viruses and crimeware.”

During 2005, software vulnerabilities were increasingly exploited by malicious websites hosting malcode, and the Websense Master Database’s security-related categories reflect this growth. For example, since February 2005, spyware-related websites have increased from approximately 48,000 sites to more than 130,000 today -- a 170 percent upsurge. In addition, during the same time period, phishing and other fraudulent websites have grown approximately 271 percent from 7,270 to more than 27,000 sites.

Other Websense Master Database advancements over the past year include:

  •     Malicious websites—more than a 3,900 percent increase.
  •     P2P websites—50 percent increase.
  •     Keyloggers—more than doubled in growth.
  •     Instant messaging (IM)—nearly 240 percent increase.
  •     Personal network storage and backup—more than 250 percent increase.
  •     Freeware and software download—more than 117 percent increase.

To maintain database accuracy, Websense purges dead website links from the database on a daily basis, and to date has removed nearly four million dead links. This is of particular importance for internet categories that represent web security risks, such as phishing or fraud-based websites, which have a short life span. Phishing websites are currently online for an average of less than six days and the underlying IP addresses associated with those websites change frequently.

Websense builds and maintains the Master Database with automated tools, based on a combination of sophisticated classification algorithms as well as human review. In addition, websites are also captured via Websense’s patent-pending WebCatcher™ technology, by which new or not yet classified websites visited by employees at Websense customer sites are anonymously sent back to Websense for categorization. These newly categorized sites are then made available to all Websense customers via the daily database downloads.

In addition, to maximize security intelligence, the database operations team collaborates with the Websense® Security Labs™ research group to mine and analyze more than 75 million sites a day for malicious mobile code (MMC) and hacks. The team manages a global honeynet of unprotected computers to discover MMC, new Trojan horses, keyloggers and blended threats. The findings are used to study their techniques, actions, and behavior on an enterprise network system. Information gained enables Websense Security Labs to discover attacks quickly and deliver a remedy to Websense customers before antivirus signatures are available, thus closing a critical opportunity for exposure.

Websense customers can quickly protect their employees and corporate assets from web-based threats by receiving Real-time Security Updates™, which provide real-time updates to the database as malicious events and websites are discovered, researched and categorized. These updates complement antivirus solutions by mitigating web security breaches prior to the availability of antivirus signatures and software patches, as well as other threats not addressed by traditional web security measures.

Websense software is available for organizations who wish to protect themselves from application and web security threats. For a free 30-day evaluation of Websense software or for more information on protecting your organization from a wide range of threats including spyware, peer-to-peer, virus outbreaks, crimeware and internal hacking exploits, please visit http://www.websense.com. Websense Security Lab offers free email security updates as new internet threats are discovered and is available at http://www.websensesecuritylabs.com.

About Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), the world’s leading provider of employee internet management solutions, enables organizations to optimize employee use of computing resources and mitigate new threats related to internet use including instant messaging, peer-to-peer, and spyware. By providing usage policy enforcement at the internet gateway, on the network and at the desktop, Websense products enhance productivity and security, optimize the use of IT resources and mitigate legal liability for our customers. For more information, visit http://www.websense.com.

© 2006, Websense, Inc. All rights reserved. Websense and Websense Enterprise are registered trademarks of Websense, Inc. in the United States and certain international markets. Websense has numerous other unregistered trademarks in the United States and internationally. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact:     

Jennifer Culter

Websense, Inc.

858 320 9511

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