What is Malware and How Can it Infect my Website?

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About one million new malware threats are released every day. Malware is short for malicious software that is used to gather sensitive data, gain unauthorized access to websites. Cyber criminal use several ways to infect malware into your websites. Malware can harm your website and visitors also.

Exploiting Vulnerabilities with Malware

Cyber criminal may finds vulnerabilities in your website, then they are quick to attack. They can decide why they want to access your site. Then based on their intent, they’ll determine the type of malware to use.

Server vulnerabilities – Hackers can spread malware to a website via its server. Hacker can exploit them by uploading malicious code or entire web page to the site. Then it will drop malware to the website visitors.

Website vulnerabilities – Lots of website owners want to create an engaging user experience by offering photos, shopping carts, videos and other dynamic elements. Research conducted by SiteLock and staff from the Wharton School of Business found that websites with high complexity can be 10 times more likely to be compromised than websites with low complexity. These types of third-party applications make a website susceptible to web application vulnerabilities. Example – URL redirect is a famous web application vulnerability, that will redirect a user to a malicious website to increase traffic and steal their personal information.

Types of malware

Viruses – Website virus can spread one website to another. A virus will spread itself across computers and websites, infecting other files along the way. Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity. Viruses are hide in email attachments, display advertisements, different types of sharing file networks. It can crash or freeze your website or computer.

Trojan Horse – A Trojan horse is classified as a sneaky type of malware that disguises itself as a seemingly legitimate file or software. Trojans can enable cyber-criminals to spy on you, steal your sensitive data, and gain backdoor access to your websites. Trojans hide in the background and can perform nearly any task, like delete your files, blocking websites data, modified websites data and copy websites data.

Adware – Adware can displays unwanted ads on your screen. It is often designed to collect data on your browsing history. It can track the sites which is you visit mostly and sends that information back to the website owner. The website owner will then deliver advertisements based on the information tracked.

Malware can be used to –

  •  Boost SEO rankings for a specific site (often a competitor’s)
  •  Collect sensitive data
  •  Hijack a user’s session or computer
  •  Compromise a website user’s login information
  •  Make fraudulent purchases
  •  Create spam

Malware Consequences

When your website is infected with any malware, then it could potentially harm the visitors on your site. Malware infected websites has capable to transfer other nasty software on user computer to gather confidential data.

Every day Google blacklists about 10,000 websites. Google will temporarily remove website from its index, when a website is blacklisted. Every time Google is scanning the web for suspicious activities. If Google is find any site as suspicious, it will blacklist. You should make sure your website developer are using website security best practices to keep your site secure.

http://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/can-visiting-a-malicious-site-automatically-infect-my-computer-641485/

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