Malware, or “malicious software,” is software designed to inflict harm to a website, digital device or network with a range of vicious strategies. Malware is a catch-all term for a range of programs designed to inflict harm on a digital device or network, including viruses, spyware, email worms, adware, and ransomware.
In its infancy, malware was transferred through diskettes, infecting individual computers. Times have changed, and malware is now big business. Cyber-attackers run programs to identify vulnerabilities in websites that can be exploited. An e-commerce site with a database storing customer financial information runs a much higher risk of being the target of a cyber-attack, and even government sites, huge retailers and banks have been victimized.
- Cyber criminals use malware to hack into websites for various purposes, such as:
- Hijack and spy on users to gain information
- Obtain confidential data, such as credit card and social security numbers to sell to criminal groups
- Steal a user’s login information to hack deeper into any site
- Conduct fraudulent transactions
- Create and send spam
- Sabotage SEO rankings or blacklist website
- Extort money from users
- Launch a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack
Any of these attacks could be very bad news for your company. Financial losses, liability issues, and a decline of customer confidence are only a few of the repercussions from a serious cyber-attack. There are several ways malware can enter your system, but one particularly devious method is becoming more and more common: malware spread through ad networks.
Malvertising – Malware through Ad Networks
Ad networks are third-party companies that develop ad content for websites to help generate revenue. These ad networks produce content for thousands of websites. Recently, there has been an unsettling increase in the appearance of malware embedded in online advertisements distributed through various ad networks. This means even a visit to a trusted website such as YouTube could infect a consumer’s device, often without requiring a click-through.
Malvertising, as this activity is called, plants dangerous malware in sites, creating serious security issues for site owners and their customers. Since ad networks rotate content very quickly and website owners don’t typically monitor the type of content being provided by these networks, it can be very difficult to protect against this malicious tactic.
While currently it may be difficult to stop Malware that has been spread through ad networks, there are vital steps a website owner can take to maximize security and defend against these covert cyber-attacks.
Cinch’s Essential Support site maintenance package includes 24/7 Security monitoring. We oversee your website to identify suspicious activity with round-the-clock scanning, including the presence of malware planted through malvertising. If malware is detected, our professional team takes immediate action to contain and remove the malware.
The battle against cybercrime rages on, with countless new malware threats being released every day, and anti-malware companies working around the clock to keep up by developing better detection and protection methods. Cinch uses the best malware detection, cleanup methods, and tools currently available to keep your website as safe as possible for your enterprise and your customers, and minimize damage if the site has suffered an incursion.