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Drive-By Cyber Attacks

September 13, 2020

In many cases, a cyber attack is only successful if a user takes a certain action, including clicking on a malicious link or entering information into a cloned website. However, with drive-by cyber attacks, malware is spread by targeting websites with security vulnerabilities and without requiring any action on the part of the user. This makes drive-by attacks an especially problematic and insidious type of hack and threat to cloud security. Keep reading to learn more about how this type of cyber attack works and what you can do to prevent your website from being targeted.

Hackers can only initiate a drive-by attack if the website is insecure. They will look for gaps in cloud security that will allow them to insert malicious scripts into the website code. This script can be used to automatically download malware onto the computer of a visitor to the site or redirect visitors to an alternative site that has been created by the hackers. Either way, both the website and the users are victims.

Drive-by downloads are also dangerous because they aren’t limited to website pages. They can also be triggered when a user views an email or looks at a pop-up window. Any app, web browser or operating system can be hijacked and used by the hacker.

How to Prevent Drive-By Attacks

For businesses and website owners, the best way to prevent drive-by cyber attacks is to make sure that your security, browser, and operating systems are up to date. It can be all too easy to forget about updates or fail to double-check that updates were successful, which can create just the sort of security vulnerabilities that make drive-by attacks possible. Be sure to not only schedule updates but make sure to review them to ensure compliance.

In addition, businesses should make sure to remove outdated aspects of the website. As you update or add new software, older tools should be removed. If they are left on the site and not updated with emerging security patches, you have created an easy way to exploit the site. Even if these components are not in use, they can still be used by hackers to insert malware.

It should go without saying that secure passwords are also at the heart of preventing cyber attacks, but some businesses still fail to enforce strong password use. A password generator and management tool can go a long way in supporting cloud security and preventing hackers from guessing weak passwords and easily gaining access to website code.

Finally, be aware of the types of advertisements that your users are being served. While publishing ads on your site can be a great way to generate passive income, this is also a common path for malware. Take the time to monitor the ads that are being shown on your site and make sure that your users aren’t being targeted with ad-based drive-by attacks.

Users should also make sure that browsers and operating systems are running the latest versions. In addition, they should minimize the number of apps and programs on your devices. The more programs you have running, the more likely you are to be the target of a drive-by attack. Pop-up blockers can also be an effective tool to reduce the risk of drive-by cyber attacks.

While drive-by cyber attacks are difficult to identify and prevent, there are steps that both businesses and users can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of attack. For more information about different types of cyberattacks, how to prevent them, and ways to ensure compliance, contact the experts at prancer. We help businesses across all industries improve cloud security and compliance in ways that also support the DevOps pipeline.