Tuesday 01 April, 2014

Internet Security – What Is a Drive-by Attack?

A drive-by attack is a type of malware program that gets into your computer when you do nothing more than visit a website. You don’t have to download a file or click a link. When your browser hits the infected site, the virus moves to your computer.

Traditional malware requires some action on your part in order to infect your computer. You have to do something like download a file, open a file or click a link. Drive-by attacks are particularly dangerous because you don’t have to perform any action at all.

How Drive-by Attacks Work

Over the years, hackers’ methods have become increasingly more sophisticated. Malware can now be hidden in codes on a website. A drive-by attack can occur anywhere there’s HTML, including advertisements or email messages.

Hackers carry out drive-by attacks by putting an exploit code on a website. Usually, the attack isn’t the website’s fault at all. A hacker has put it there without the site owner knowing.

There are several ways hackers can do this. One of the most common is through iFrames. Web designers use iFrames legitimately to basically embed a website within a website. It’s a handy tool for designers but can be easily exploited. A hacker can use iFrames to embed other types of HTML code, such as a piece of malware. They can make this code zero by zero pixels so that it can’t be seen by the naked eye. The website owner wouldn’t even be aware of it unless they looked carefully at their code.

How to Prevent Drive-by Attacks

Drive-by attacks hit your computer through infected websites. If your defenses are down, your computer could be infected. This malware passes to your computer through a combination of browser vulnerabilities and lowered security on your computer. So, the best way to stay safe is to make sure everything is up to date.

Update your browser whenever an update is offered. Updates patch up vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. It’s good to take these updates not only to prevent drive-by attacks but any kind of other attacks as well. Browser updates are important for keeping your computer safe.

Run a good security program and make sure that it’s updated as well. A good security software program is an important preventative measure that can keep malware from passing through your web browser to your computer.

Another good way to prevent drive-by attacks specifically is to install web-filtering software. This software checks out each site for potential risks before you go to it. If it detects something awry, it will notify you.

The good news is that as hackers’ methods become more sophisticated, so do preventative software programs and other safeguards. The internet security industry has to stay one step ahead of hackers at every turn.

 

 

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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