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Malware Hosted Websites

With the increasing number of websites coming online and the establishment of well known websites, it is becoming more difficult for Internet surfers to avoid malware. Although the best way to avoid getting malware in your PC is to curb your clicking habits, even the most security-minded surfers can still be fooled by some of the tactics that cybercriminals use to install malware in your PC.

The explosion of online commerce has opened up a whole new venue for cybercriminals. While it is utterly impossible to dodge all of the cybercriminal activity going on altogether, if you have some knowledge of what they do and how they do it, you stand a better chance of protecting your PC against malware infection.

Websites With Malware

A high percentage of malware comes from websites and pop-up advertisements and sometimes it is nearly impossible for an Internet surfer to tell whether or not they have arrived on a website that is hosting malware. The following information will give you some insight as to how malware criminals work.

  • Redirections: When a cybercriminal creates malware they design it and host it on a small group of websites or specified number of emails. They gradually add more websites so one redirect can transport the visitor to another website, and then another, where they finally meet up with the malware infected site.

Most of the time this is done in a seamless fashion and the only way to tell you are being redirected is that the page may download slowly or the URL in the browser window changes during transmission.

  • Proxy Websites: Malware criminals create what is called "proxy websites." These websites are used to hide the malware for a longer period of time before it is discovered by the website owner. The problem with proxy websites is they can be dressed up to look like anything from a lesser known site to a well known site such as MySpace.

Cybercriminals often create fictitious accounts on well known websites and then install links that direct the visitor to the malware which is a site that is designed to look like the real thing.

  • Antivirus Software: Malware criminals who host malware on websites have also figured out a way to confuse antivirus software programs. They have packaged website malware differently so it can sneak by the antivirus program you have installed on your PC. Antivirus programs produce signatures that allow the program to recognize and block malware. If the malware is packaged differently by the cybercriminal it can easily slip by the antivirus program and into your PC.

Although the thought of all of the cybercriminal activity that is taking place on the Internet can make you paranoid, the best thing to do is constantly be aware, educate yourself on what cybercriminals do, and always be suspicious of any activity.

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You can protect your computer from viruses without expensive software. Instead, follow these simple tips:

Stay up-to-date on all system updates.

Don't download any email attachments you weren't expecting.

Avoid freeware and peer-to-peer sharing sites.

Use alternative web browsers and email software.