One of the many ways that viruses are spread and infect computers is through legitimate websites that have been hacked. This has been an ongoing problem throughout the internet. Hackers redirect users to a malicious website and instantly infect the visitor.
If a hacker gains control of a popular website and is able to redirect the traffic to a separate malicious website, this can lead to mass virus infections. This type of virus distribution is nothing new and has been going on for a while. Popular websites are hijacked and all visitors become unsuspecting victims.
Redirecting visitors to a separate website is not the only method for spreading viruses. Hackers can also simply spread a virus on the actual website rather than redirecting users to another website. If a hacker gains control of a website they can alter the code to have a virus install onto a visitors computer instantly. Only active and up to date antivirus software can prevent this type of attack.
Up to date antivirus software including real-time protection is your best defense.
Hackers have become more sophisticated and are constantly discovering loopholes in website server software. Once a loophole is discovered a hacker can take complete control of a server and alter all websites hosted on it. Some hackers simply deface a website with their hacker name to gain notoriety. Other hackers have malicious intentions.
Viruses of course are not the only malicious intent that website hackers have. Some website hacks have resulted in users entering their personal information into a website that they believe is legit. This is a well known tactic being used frequently.
A hacked website can be replicated and hosted on a separate server, looking identical to the real website. Once a visitor connects to the website they are redirected to the phony website. The visitor will not be aware that they are on a fake website and therefore enter their username, password and other sensitive information.
What is the best defense against becoming a victim of a hacked website? Up to date antivirus software including real-time protection is your best defense. If your antivirus software is up to date and provides real-time protection while you browse the web then you can certainly minimize the chances your computer becomes infected with a virus.
Antivirus software companies are constantly updating their virus definition databases and are always on alert for potentially hacked websites. Make sure that your antivirus software is always updating itself with the latest virus definitions and the real-time protection is always on.