An article published in Newsweek reveals how to spot whether a website hosts malware.
It’s a handy way to check if malware is present and avoid potentially damaging data leaks.
“It’s not really a malicious website at all,” says Joshua Raskin, a security researcher who discovered the malware and recently published an analysis of the attack on his blog.
“The site is hosted on a non-malicious server and they’re not actually trying to steal your data, but they’re trying to create a botnet,” he says.
“A botnet is basically a bot that is being used to steal people’s data.”
This botnet has infected more than 200,000 computers, Raskins explains.
“I’ve noticed a lot of people who are looking for malware are looking to the botnet as a first line of defense,” he adds.
“You can always use the botnets as a backup if you need to,” says Raskina.
“In fact, a lot [of the bot] traffic comes from [cyber criminals] trying to look for this malware that they think is malicious, so the bot is very useful for this sort of analysis.”
He points out that if you look for malware on the sites you visit, you can always just use the search bar to see which malware sites are hosting.
“So if you search for ‘malware site’, it’ll show you a list of sites,” he explains.”[If] you’re using a browser like Chrome or Firefox, that’s a pretty good way to look at it.”
What to doIf you suspect your computer has been infected by malware, Rasskin recommends that you contact the company hosting the site.
“There’s a good chance they’re hosting malware, so if you don’t contact them, you’re probably going to end up with malware, and if you do, you might end up getting infected too,” he warns.
“That’s why I recommend that you go to a website owner that has a reputation for being a reliable provider of malware protection.”
The following websites are known to host malware:Apple’s iCloud and Safari are known malware hostsGoogle’s Chrome and Firefox are known malicious hostsApple’s App Store and App Store.
Google’s iCloud is known malware host.