Bob Rankin: How I Got Hacked… & Why You MUST Have a Backup!

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By Bob Rankin

Last week I heard from a friend who thought she might have been infected by a virus. When she visited her own website, it was redirecting her to another web address. It sounded like a simple Javascript redirect, so I assumed it would be safe to visit her site and see where the problem was. Turns out that was a BIG mistake! Find out what happened to my computer, and how I finally managed to recover from the damage…

Are You Vulnerable to Drive-By Malware?

Here’s the executive summary: If your friend says “I think my website has a virus, and is redirecting to a russian porn site” — don’t assume your anti-virus software and fully updated operating system will protect you when you go to have a look-see. I did, and it took me about 8 hours to clean up the damage. But there are some valuable lessons to be learned here, so I hope you’ll read on.

I always knew there was a slight chance that I could get a virus, because of the “arms race” that exists between the Evil Hackers and the Good Guys who provide anti-virus software. A virus appears, the anti-virus folks add code to protect against it, and then the virus morphs — sometimes automatically. It’s a bit like weeds that become resistant to pesticides.

But I was convinced that all those “drive-by virus infection” scenarios only affected people who would click or download almost anything, those who failed to apply their Windows Update security patches, or those who ran expired anti-malware protection. It turns out I was wrong. There was a pretty nasty “drive-by” virus in one of the many popups that appeared after visiting the hacked website. My anti-virus program caught and quarantined one attack, but didn’t fully protect me.

Article continued here:

This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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4 thoughts on “Bob Rankin: How I Got Hacked… & Why You MUST Have a Backup!

  1. Scare tactic? It is common knowledge sites can be corrupted and represent a threat to visitors.

    “attackers use a number of techniques to control the content of benign Web sites and turn them into nodes in the malware distribution networks. One of the techniques is to compromise a Web server, usually one that is not updated with the latest security patches”

  2. I hope no one seriously believes this rubbish, its nothing but scare mongering in order to get you to buy a product!
    Virusus are executable code, in other words if they are not executed to run on your computer they wont work!, they are dead, and inactive, in other words unless you click on something or download something you wont get infected
    To tell me that some virus hosed his hard drive, or master boot record simply by visiting a web page is a lie!!
    I dont have any anti-virus software installed on my machines and never been infected and never will, and i visit thousands upon thousands of so called un safe sites

    • Hey Rob,Iam a new computer user and now im more confused than ever i get scared that im gonna write go in or be on a website thats not secure I did buy pc matic for the scans and a speedy laptop I have not seen a difference in the speed of my laptop and i go a try the free scan again and it says you already downloaded this do you want the upgraded version and i x out of it i dont understand this company at all iam still a computer illerate i can really use somebody to show me how to use a computer and what certain terminology means im lost and now that i read your comment im leary please help me understand do you know any computer geeks that i can get to teach me all about computers lol thanks michele

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