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GeoTrust Web Site Anti-Malware Scan

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Daily Malware Scan and Vulnerability Assessment

Believe it or not, malware gets on a website the same way it gets on a personal PC. The author of a virus or worm finds a vulnerability, and they exploit it with a piece of code.

In the case of a Windows PC, it could be a vulnerability in Internet Explorer or Windows itself, but for a server, it could be a problem with the way a web app was designed. It can be incredibly hard to create a secure web app, and as such there can be many security flaws found in them. So it does not take long for a cyber criminal to find a hole to exploit.

What happens with Malware Infected Site?

Once exploited, they can simply send their malware in and take hold of the server they get in. Then, they can poke around, access databases, and add viruses to the web pages that this server provides so any visitor gets infected. When this happens, then all hell breaks lose. This is how databases end up being leaked, people lose their accounts, and password lists appear on underground sites. That is the worse thing a server administrator wants to hear.

But there are also other ways to infect a website. Often, it is not the website itself that gets infected, but an ad network. Most shopping websites provide ads that come from an ad network, and if that network did not correctly review ads, then your site may actually end up serving malware to your own visitors, without you being aware of it.

Another way is through something called XSS or cross-site scripting. This is not a vulnerability in your server exactly, but instead a way that JavaScript can be exploited to use one site in order to infiltrate another. Finally, a server can also be infected the old fashion way, by finding a bug in the code that is running on it. In each case, this presents a major challenge for business owners.

Key Solutions to Remove Malware

So let’s see what you can do on a concrete level, as a business owner, to reduce the chances that this will happen to you.

First, you need to make sure you keep your servers patched up. This can be done by using the update feature of your operating system if you control your whole server, or simply making sure things like WordPress and other scripts are kept up to date if you use a hosting account. Your own code should also be secure, kept monitored so that you can find any potential problem with it, and fix it quickly.

Finally, do regular checks to make sure no one got in. This can be done by looking at logs and analytics software. If you have the ability to use a web app firewall, there are several solutions that can monitor this type of activity. It can be a challenge, and the bad guys often get the upper hand, but it has to be done if you value your customers.