Why you should know what Malware is and how it can impact your website:
Did you know that according to major internet security firms, in 2015 alone there were nearly 1 million new malware threats released every day? In all likelihood, that number has continued to grow over the last two years, but what does this mean for you and your business website?
Malware is a term that is short for malicious software, and it refers to the number of ways that cyber criminals hack/steal/infect our computers, and ultimately our websites and sensitive data. There are a variety of types and purposes of malware but no matter how it manifests itself, malicious software can cause serious damage to your website, and more importantly to your visitors and customers.
Are malware and viruses the same thing?
In essence, yes, a virus is type of malware; in other words, malware is a general term that applies to all the different types of harmful or invasive software, with a virus being one example of malware.
The reason that this particular malware software is called a virus is because it works similar to the way that a virus does in your body, by infecting the good cells, and spreading and taking over the whole body. A website virus can literally spread from your website to other computers and sites, by infecting files it comes in contact with, and hiding in email attachments and other web advertisements that can end up crashing your site.
Other types of malware include:
-Trojan Horse: Relies on the use of a disguise, such as a legitimate looking file or attachment, in order to gain access to your website or computer, and then once it is in, it can destroy or delete files and perform other compromising acts without being noticed by the owner.
-Backdoors: Type of malware that bypasses standard authentication process to gain access to a computer without using the proper channels using a network connection. Once a backdoor has been established, the system can continue to be compromised unbeknownst to the user.
-Adware:While this type of malware presents as annoying ads popping up across your screen, the real purpose of this malicious software is to track your browsing history with the goal of sending that information back to the website owner so they can deliver ads based on that data.
How does my site become infected with Malware?
Being able to successfully use malware on a website depends largely on how many vulnerabilities are present on that site, because once a cyber criminal detects that a website is loaded with vulnerable aspects, they can then decide which type of malware will be the most effective at invading the system.
Without going into too much detail, a vulnerable website is typically one that is rich in features, like offering photos, videos, and other dynamic tools used to engage visitors. Unfortunately, the more features your website has, the more vulnerable it could be to potential malware infections.
The website’s server can also be hit with malware that can ultimately spread to your site as well, with some malware infections even going so far as to spread the malware to visitors.
A malware infection on your website can result in:
Some of the intended purposes of malicious software used by cyber criminals include things like: stealing of confidential data like credit card numbers, SSN, etc; compromise or steal login information from site users; create spam; boost the search engine optimization rankings of a competitor’s site; make illegal purchases using user information; even hack into a visitor’s personal computer.
Now that you have a better idea of what malware is and the potential consequences of having malware infect your website, you can see how important it is to work with a web developer who has experience with handling all types of malicious software. If you have concerns about how malware could be affecting your website, our LOJO development team would be more than happy to answer your questions.
Written by Cassandra Sohn