By Bob Rankin
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.
This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.