How do you know if a site you visit has malware that automatically downloads to your computer?

10 replies
I read with interested Dan Rinnert's recent post titled ""

Dan spoke of hackers managing to install some kind of malware on your site that downloads to other's computers:

If they do so and manage to put up some kind of malware that will download itself to people's computers, how bad do you think that will be for your business?
Not wanting to derail Dan's thread, I'm posting this question here as I'm still not certain as to how you would know if your site had malware that could infect people's computers, and if so, what is the best way to deal with it should this happen?

How do you know if a site you visit has malware that could be installed automatically on to your computer?

I know that Bluehost will immediately suspend an account if they detect something 'bad' on a hosting account, and will not reinstate the account until the problem is fixed. But how many other hosting companies do this?

How would I know if a site I visited downloaded something on to my computer (a Mac) or any other computer, for that matter? I presume some virus programs run in the background while you are surfing the web? If so, what is the best program to use on a Mac to detect malware downloaded from visiting a website?
#automatically #computer #downloads #malware #site #visit
  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    I dont know about MACs, but i use Kaspersky on my PC and it warns me if there is something suspicious on a site. Kaspersky is amongst the best AV programs.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Most anti-virus programs have a "surf shield" and check websites before they are loaded or as they are loading and if detected they wont load it OR will automatically clean/stop it.

    I use AVG but it's becoming a resource hog.

    Besides the anti-virus programs there really isnt a way to know but can be limited.

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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    I use Avast. If I visit an infected site it flashes up a big red warning and refuses to load the site. I guess you just have to rely on your antivirus.

    Having said that, if my computer so much as coughs I scan it with malwarebytes and/or superantispyware.

    Don't be like many of my clients who watch their computer behaving strangely and ignore it. The instant your computer does something unusual or behaves strangely - scan it. That's what I do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chrismiksen
    Are you talking about just visiting a site and having infected software installed on your computer without taking any sort of action (IE: knowingly downloading something)? Almost all anti-virus programs should have some sort of warning system to either prevent the software from installing or to warn you to leave the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrDay
    Nortan protects me from just about everything out there, including malware.

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  • Profile picture of the author Samrath Gupta
    I agree with Rosetrees and I will have to say that AVAST is damn best !! Avast protected my laptop many times and blocked all the bad sites

    I believe AVAST is giving away free 1 year license to home users so go and grab one
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    • Profile picture of the author MattVit
      No way of always knowing.

      Generally, though, "one man show" websites are more likely to be infected than sites like PayPal for obvious reasons.

      Keep an eye out for IP based addresses, sites that end in .php instead of .html (and have strange names like x.php) and non-common TLDs.

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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Originally Posted by Val.S. View Post

    Not wanting to derail Dan's thread, I'm posting this question here as I'm still not certain as to how you would know if your site had malware that could infect people's computers, and if so, what is the best way to deal with it should this happen?
    As someone whose site WAS hacked, infected with malware, and flagged by Google as an "attack site", I know this can be a real problem. The first I knew about the problem was when a customer e-mailed me to complain.

    The first thing to do (apart from scream, bang your fist on the desk and decide what pain you're going to inflict on the #@&%$D hackers if you ever get your hands on them ) is to contact your hosting provider and tell them. If you're on shared hosting, its likely they're going to have other infected sites on their server as well as yours.

    If you're lucky and the infection happened after your last backup, restore your site from backup and monitor it to see if it happens again. If the infection has been backed up, I'm afraid you've got a real problem. You'll have to go through every directory, every page, and every php script to check for anything abnormal.

    You'll also need to check your log to see if any php scripts are being operated remotely as this is usually a clue to something untoward going on. Check the IP addresses, and see if there has been access from a "dodgy" country like China, Russia, or Iran. You could add the IP addresses to your block list, although hackers rarely use the same IP twice and often use proxy servers.

    After you're sure your site is "clean", back it up, and download it to your hard drive. If the problem happens again, change hosting provider. That's what I had to do in the end.

    If Google has flagged your site as an "attack" site, contact them after the malware has been removed. To do this, go to Webmaster Tools and request a review. They're usually quite good about doing this.

    How do you know if a site you visit has malware that could be installed automatically on to your computer?
    As others have said, a good antivirus program should warn you about malware being installed on your computer. You should also invest in a firewall program, too. I don't have a Mac so I can't really advise you as to what would be best in your situation, but I'm sure other Mac using Warriors can.

    On my PC I use Avira antivirus, Filseclab firewall, and Zemana Antilogger. I'm not sure if Mac versions are available, but it might be worth doing search in Google to see.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abby Gibbs
    I also used Avast. Fortunately, i haven't experience any problem with this anti-virus.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogtoBlog
    highly recommend Norton 360. Believe me, I had to learn the hard way! My computer (in general, not just online) started to run slower and slower over the course of a week. It finally 'locked up' and I really couldn't do much. Then I noticed a desktop icon for an online gambling website (and I don't gamble online!!!). I've heard you can get viruses by just mousing over something without even clicking on it. This is what I must have done, so I didn't even know until it was too late. Norton 360 will protect against all the gunk out there & is a tiny price to pay for all the protection it gives.

    hope this helps
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