Why Prevent and Thoroughly Remove Malware From Your Site?
For small-to-mid-size businesses (SMBs) and enterprise organizations, finding, removing, and preventing malware is increasingly critical for risk management and digital trust.
Security risks and concerns are rising globally for digital technology.
The Experian 2018 Global Fraud and Identity Report, with input from over 5,500 consumers and 500 businesses worldwide, reveals what consumers think of security protocols and gauges how confident businesses can accurately identify their customers.
Key findings from this report include:
- 91% of consumers own smartphones and mobile devices, while 83% own laptops.
- 90% of consumers embrace digital commerce as a way to purchase goods and services.
- 63% of businesses have experienced the same or more fraud losses in the past 12 months as compared to the previous period.
- 75% of businesses want advanced authentication and security with little or no impact on digital customers.
Building trust through digital technology without disruption and protecting visitors from malware on websites are both critically important.
What is Website Malware?
Malware is any piece of software or code with malicious intent, causing damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.
In 2017, malware was the most frequently encountered cyber threat in the ENISA Threat Landscape report.
With website malware, attackers can sneak into a website undetected, steal sensitive customer data, alter a website’s appearance, damage a company’s reputation, and damage their bottom line. Cybercriminals can take control of websites with malware infections.
With mobile payment services, abusing a lost or stolen device for online transactions is a common threat, as well as malware on mobile applications for online transactions.
The three leading Content Management Systems (CMS) in 2018 were: WordPress, Magento, and Joomla!.
WordPress continues to be the leading infected CMS, representing 90% of all websites cleaned by Sucuri in 2018.
Why Do Cybercriminals Infect Websites with Malware?
The top 5 reasons why cybercriminals attack websites are:
- To deface and vandalize webpages
- For spam campaigns
- For phishing email campaigns
- To serve malware such as Trojans and spyware to steal data
- To conduct Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
Stolen or compromised site data is usually offered in underground marketplaces in the dark web, with sites not indexed or accessible by search engines.”
The latest exploits and stolen sensitive data such as credit cards and IDs are for sale in the dark web. Most malware is transmitted over the dark web and then onto public access sites, so being on the dark web can put you in danger of malware or ransomware.
8 Signs Your Website Has Malware
- Is it defaced or vandalized by the cybercriminal or hacker?
- Does Google display warnings about your website?
- Has your hosting provider disabled your website?
- Have web browsers blacklisted your website?
- Is your website loading speed persistently slower?
- Is your website sending emails on its own?
- Are website visitors redirected to inappropriate websites?
- Are there suspicious files, folders, and code on your website?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then check for potential malware immediately!
Using Google for Malware Checking
Google uses its Safe Browsing technology to check whether your website is potentially dangerous to visit.
Google’s Safe Browsing technology continuously examines domain names or URLs for malicious content and malware. It also maintains a database of compromised websites.”
Google Malware Checker’s free service is at https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search.
You can also check your website from Google Console via the “Health” menu. If your site has been previously flagged by Google with malware, this will clear once you thoroughly remove the malware from your website.
Malware Scanning Tools for Websites
There are also free versions for scanning tools for malware-infected websites from digital security companies. Here are a couple of examples:
- Sucuri has a free Sucuri SiteCheck where you can enter a URL (e.g., sucuri.net) and the Sucuri SiteCheck scanner will check for known malware, viruses, blacklisting status, website errors, and out-of-date software, and malicious code: https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/.
- Qualys Community Edition is a free version of the Qualys Cloud Platform designed for the security community. It’s a cloud-based solution to quickly scan websites for malware, and then provide immediate and automated alerts along with in-depth reporting: https://www.qualys.com/community-edition/.
Google blacklists 10,000+ websites every day. With Google’s 30-day ban on website reviews to prevent repeat offenders from distributing malware, cleaning up a hacked site thoroughly is more critical than ever.