Security 27 Dec , 2021 Viruses on the website – what to do? Valdis Strautiņš Much has been said about various computer viruses. But did you know that viruses that cause a lot of damage to your website can also be present on your website? Viruses on the website affect its attendance and damage the reputation of your site. Search engines alert users to infected sites, lower site scores and even blacklist them. Viruses affect both website users and owners. In this article we will tell you what viruses do to the website, how they infect the site and how to diagnose them. In our previous article “Create a new website, or fix an existing one”, we already touched a little on this topic. How viruses affect your website by inserting a referral code – according to SiteLock, redirection is one of the most common cyberattacks, accounting for 17% of all malware infections. virus redirects the user to another site and the site loses users inserting malicious code and infecting users’ devices – Google and other popular search engines review sites for malware, and can remove infected sites from search results in an effort to prevent users from visiting them. This practice is known as the blacklist. Search engines can also put an alert on blacklisted sites to protect its visitors from malicious content. The warning informs visitors that the site is infected and prevents access to it. Not only will this reduce the flow of your website data, but these visitors will also no longer trust your website and may never return to it placing ads and third-party content on the site – encouraging users to click on an ad or download some content that automatically infects visitors’ devices when they visit the site. Cybercriminals can either enter malicious code into an ad or upload their malicious ad to the web, which simultaneously distributes advertising to millions of websites connecting the server to the botnet and launching a DDoS attack – the hosting provider will limit the site’s traffic When you post spam content on your site – unusual links or comments that suddenly appear on your site or sudden loss of data flow are signs of SEO (search engine optimization) spam. SEO uses two methods to help websites rank well in search results: using appropriate search terms on a webpage and getting links from external sources. By posting hundreds or thousands of files containing malicious backlinks and unrelated keywords on your site, cybercriminals can cause your site’s search rankings to drop, resulting in a significant reduction in site visits. stealing information (e.g. contacts or bank card data) – cybercriminals can discover sensitive customer data, change the look of your website and take other actions. The site owner may come to the attention of the police How viruses infect websites Understanding the methods of infecitation can help prevent the site from hacking or its consequences. Unprotected code – Some developers don’t care about the security of their apps and scripts. Any CMS, even commercial ones, can have a vulnerable code. The more popular the system, the more hackers will learn about its vulnerabilities. Viruses are the most common on WordPress sites. This is due to the huge popularity of the system Viruses in plug-ins, themes, engines, advertisements, web servers – malicious code can often be found in “hacked” topics, engines and plug-ins. Only licensed apps are used when designing a website, no matter how much you want to save money. You will spend a lot more to search your site for malware and prevent its consequences. Banner ads and notifications may also contain malicious code. It does not affect the site itself, but infects users’ computers Site hacking and malicious code setting – most often sites are infected automatically, but sometimes it is also done manually. Agency outsourcing staff can leave a “back door” on the site. This is a kind of insurance in case the customer does not pay for the work. The “back door” is also used by hackers. Carefully select the developer, make sure of the reviews and reliability of the agency and always fulfill your obligations. Uses strong and long passwords consisting of different symbols to protect the site control panel from outsiders Remember!!! Update all your software in a timely manner, from CMS to web server. Don’t buy unlicensed software and check your hires. Use strong passwords. How to detect malware on the website Before you try to find a good programmer or “cure” site on your own and look for how to do it online, check if it is infected at all. This can be done in several ways. Check your search engine cabinet – Google Search Console (“Security issues”). If your site is infected and malware was detected there, you will be informed. Important: this tool will be effective only against common viruses. Google Search Console Use online scanners – These tools will help you detect malware on site pages. Use dynamic scanners – they detect scripts that are activated when a user performs an action. ReScan.Pro SiteCheck ThreatSign Dr.Web. Download the scanning software – you will need to download such a scanner and upload it to the site folder. The scanning software will check all files on the site. Such software is often used by hosting providers. It can be run in server control panel. The biggest advantage of scanners is their ability to detect site vulnerabilities. You can try one of the following: Virusdie ImunifyAV software and services will help you detect problems, but will not get rid of them. “Cure” the site means deleting malicious software. This is not easy to do. Therefore, in order to purify your site from viruses, you will most likely have to seek the help of professionals. If you suspect that a virus has settled on your site, do not hesitate – act immediately! The longer the virus lives on your website, the more irreversible damage it causes to the site and your business. Need help? Apply for a consultation and our specialists will find the most suitable solution for your situation.