Advances in the field of cybersecurity are being made on daily basis. As the number of digital threats faced by everyday internet users and website owners balloons, dedicated coders, developers, and security experts are working overtime to ensure the online safety of millions. However, despite these individuals’ best efforts, cybercrime continues to thrive. For every breakthrough made in the field of cybersecurity, one is made in the field of cybercrime. This is particularly true in the case of malicious software, more commonly known as “malware.” Each day, malware finds its way onto countless websites and computers, creating problems that range from persistent pop-up ads to full-on identity theft. If malware takes hold of a website, the consequences can be disastrous, for both the site owner and any visitors. With this in mind, website owners and administrators should take a “know thine enemy” approach to malicious software and familiarize themselves with some of the most common forms it takes.
Although most people are familiar with the concept of computer viruses, not everyone is aware that they’re typically spread through malicious software. Like an actual virus, a computer virus is capable of replicating itself and spreading to other computers and websites. Computer viruses thrive by latching onto specific programs and executing malicious code when those programs are launched. Of course, viruses are not a monolith, and they can spread in a number of other ways, most notably script files, cross-site scripting and vulnerable apps. The goals of virus programmers vary, but they typically include data theft, ad propagation and the creation of botnets. Website owners interested in keeping their sites virus-free are urged to consider cloud-based security solutions. Consult an informative SiteLock review and check out their social media to learn more.
Rootkits are among the most difficult forms of malware to detect. Whereas viruses make their presence known fairly quickly, rootkits are specifically designed to elude. This type of malicious software aims to remotely access and/or take control of computers and websites while avoiding detection by security software. Once a rootkit takes hold of a computer, a third party is able to alter system configurations, mess with security programs, install more pieces of malware and make the device part of a botnet. Since rootkits are designed to be stealthy, they’re able to avoid detection by many cybersecurity programs. This is why it’s important to monitor computers and other internet-enabled devices for unusual activity and engage in signature scanning. Website owners can protect their sites from rootkits by continually updating their security apparatuses and closely monitoring static analysis scans.
Despite being one of the oldest forms of malware, worms are still among the most prevalent. Worms are designed to exploit to vulnerabilities in operating systems and spread across large computer networks. Once worms have taken hold, they proceed to overload web servers and consume exorbitant amounts of bandwidth. However, worms don’t always stop there. A number of them contain what are known as “payloads.” These are pieces of code written to perform a variety of malicious actions, including data theft, file tampering and the creation of botnets. Worms are often regarded as a type of computer virus, although there are several important distinctions that set them apart. Whereas viruses rely on user activity to facilitate their spread, worms have the ability to replicate and spread on their own. The preferred method of self-replication varies from worm to worm, but sending infected email attachments to a victim’s contacts is arguably the most common. This is one of the many reasons it doesn’t pay to open suspicious email attachments.
When it comes to problems faced by website owners, malware is among the most pressing. If the malicious software finds its way onto your site, you’re liable to see a considerable decline in visitor stats and overall popularity. This can be particularly damaging to online stores and e-commerce sites whose livelihood depends on robust visitor numbers and positive word of mouth. In the interest of keeping malware off your website, you’ll need to educate yourself on its most common varieties and put a comprehensive security apparatus in place. Understanding the ins and outs of viruses, rootkits and worms will prove invaluable in the ongoing battle for website safety.