As you may know, many types of website malware exist — millions. They are meant to cause untold chaos and damage by their very nature. Malware can either hit and destroy or can lay dormant until activated. And it doesn’t discriminate. Your aunt’s blog is as vulnerable as a large national retailer.
Worse, your reputation, traffic, and income will likely suffer if your website is infected. And, it’s not just a problem for the webmaster. Malicious code attempts to infect the computers of site visitors also.
Suspicious activity or signs of website malware make your site appear untrustworthy, damaging your reputation and preventing visitors from returning. Search engines warn users about infected internet sites, lower them in search engine results and even block them entirely. Some of the most common website malware include:
A bot is a simple program used to perform a small task repetitively. Some bots are used for legitimate reasons. For example, many bots gather information for search engines like Google. Other bots have more malicious intent, like scanning sites to collect email addresses for spamming purposes. CAPTCHA tests (aka Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) work to protect against bots by verifying that a human is involved in the interaction.
When a group of computers is infected by malware controlled by a third party, it is known as a botnet (combo of robot and internet). Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) are the most common use of botnets. These attacks can shut down a competitor’s website by overloading it with requests or blasting spam.
Commonly known as a “Trojan,” this type of malware is used as a vehicle to download additional malware onto an already infected system. Trojan programs disguise themselves as legitimate programs or files for download. Once it’s gained access to your system, the program can steal information and download more malware.
A rootkit is a pretty darn nasty malware — a “backdoor” program that allows full access and control of the infected device, including administrative privileges. YIKES!
The cybercriminal can then spy on the device, change its configurations, steal sensitive data, and pretty much anything else. All this is done remotely.
Rootkit usually injects into applications, kernels, hypervisors, or firmware and can spread through phishing, malicious attachments, malicious downloads, and shared drives.
In a ransomware attack, cybercriminals encrypt your website files so you can’t access them and demand you pay a fee to get them back. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that complying will restore your files; even if they are fixed, the files are often permanently corrupted.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What to Do
As you can see, malware plays a massive role in internet threats. But there are some things you can do to protect your site:
- Use secure passwords
- Secure folder and file permissions
- Get an SSL certificate
- Install software updates
- Run regular security checks
- Use a fast website hosting service, like Pair
Or, you can purchase an Intrusion Defense System that will do all that and more on a regular basis.