Stop Drive-By Downloads

The name alone recalls images of senseless criminal attacks – drive-by downloads. These rogue scripts hide on websites, waiting to infect your computer without your knowledge. Learn more and prevent these silent killers before your computer’s safety and your personal information are jeopardized.

Drive-by downloads function by inserting malicious code into the javascript or flash of a website that is typically masked by a hidden iframe. This bad code can be inserted into any site is designed to exploit vulnerabilities in your computer. When the browser opens an infected site it executes the hidden script, which often triggers the browser to fetch a piece of malware from another location online, download it, and run it on your computer.

Think you don’t need to worry because you only visit reputable sites? Think again. All of the top 100 websites online have been infected at some point.

A variation on this form of attack, drive-by caching, provides a different final destination for the malware by placing it into the browser’s cache directory instead of the computer hard drive, executing it directly within the browser.

Because the offending script is hidden in a “disposable” script, basic antivirus software struggles to detect drive-bys. Expert developers are working to close the loopholes exploited by these attacks, but until they do, it’s best to take protection into your own hands. Here’s what you can do:

  • Get a discount on Norton antivirus and install the latest antivirus software
  • Pay attention to warning alerts from your antivirus software and browser
  • Keep online security software up-to-date

Too techy for you? Check out this video explaining the whole thing:

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