What is malware?
Website malware is a general term used to describe software that has been developed with a malicious purpose to work on a website or web server.
Given the sheer volume of services and web applications available on the web, it’s not surprising that the popularity of these apps and services also attracts cybercriminals hoping to leverage poor security or known vulnerabilities to their advantage.
Unlike useful software applications designed to benefit webmasters, website malware is intentionally harmful and created to damage or illegitimately monetize a website’s compromised environment.
The majority of website malware contains features which allow attackers to evade detection or gain and maintain unauthorized access to a compromised environment. Some common types of website malware include credit card stealers, injected spam content, malicious redirects, or even website defacements.
Which industries are affected by malware?
Malware makes no distinction between industries and companies. In large campaigns, cybercriminals use a scattergun approach to distribute their malware evenly across the computers of small start-ups, SMEs, and large corporations in every industry. Government agencies and other organizations are also not safe from malware.
Far more dangerous than broad-based waves of attacks, however, are targeted attacks designed for a specific company or a single target. In such scenarios, attackers invest a great deal of effort in preparing and executing the attacks.
For example, the target’s environment is analyzed in detail to identify any weak points in networks and systems.
This analysis is followed by the actual attack, which usually involves a combination of social engineering, phishing, and malware. Such professional attacks are used to infiltrate systems and networks containing highly sensitive and, therefore, extremely valuable data.
Why do cybercriminals use malware?
Malware encompasses all types of malicious software, including viruses, and cybercriminals use it for many reasons, such as:
- Tricking a victim into providing personal data for identity theft
- Stealing consumer credit card data or other financial data
- Assuming control of multiple computers to launch denial-of-service attacks against other networks
- Infecting computers and using them to mine bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies
What kind of malware can you find?:
- Virus: Like their biological namesakes, viruses attach themselves to clean files and infect other clean files. They can spread uncontrollably, damaging a system’s core functionality and deleting or corrupting files. They usually appear as an executable file (.exe).
- Trojans: This kind of malware disguises itself as legitimate software, or is hidden in legitimate software that has been tampered with. It tends to act discreetly and create backdoors in your security to let other malware in.
- Spyware: No surprise here — spyware is malware designed to spy on you. It hides in the background and takes notes on what you do online, including your passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits, and more.
- Worms: Worms infect entire networks of devices, either local or across the internet, by using network interfaces. It uses each consecutively infected machine to infect others.
- Ransomware: This kind of malware typically locks down your computer and your files, and threatens to erase everything unless you pay a ransom.
- Adware: Though not always malicious in nature, aggressive advertising software can undermine your security just to serve you ads — which can give other malware an easy way in. Plus, let’s face it: pop-ups are really annoying.
- Botnets: Botnets are networks of infected computers that are made to work together under the control of an attacker.
How to prevent malware infections:
There are several ways users can prevent malware. In the case of protecting a personal computer, users can install antimalware software.
Beyond that, users can prevent malware by practicing safe behavior on their computers or other personal devices. This includes not opening attachments from strange email addresses that may contain malware disguised as a legitimate attachment — such emails may even claim to be from legitimate companies but have unofficial email domains.
Users should also update their antimalware software regularly, as hackers are always adapting and developing new techniques to breach security software.
Security software vendors respond by releasing updates that patch those vulnerabilities. If a user neglects to update their software, they may miss out on a patch that leaves them vulnerable to a preventable exploit.
OnlineHackScan was created for the regular person, just like you, to identify vulnerabilities and fix issues and remove malware.
Any person and owner of a website can be affected by attacks and malware, from large companies to small business owners.
OnlineHackScan is here to protect what’s yours and help you sleep better at night. Get in touch and we will see how can we help you.