Website viruses are latest threat

Published on: 03/05/2011

Website viruses are latest threat

In a new report by Sophos, the Anti-Virus specialists, attention has been drawn to the increasing problem of website viruses. So what is a website virus?

Most people don't realise that a website is simply a collection of electronic files, delivered from the web server to your PC. These files are then processed by your browser to produce a web page and / or some additional function. So, for example, you may visit a web page that you know has free downloads on it. When you click to download you may be warned that you are about to install some new software ... but you're not bothered, you've done this loads of times before and never had a problem yet. But would you know if this free download had virus software inside it? That is simply a website virus.

How do they get there? The point that Sophos have made is that poor security by the website owners is the root cause of this problem. According to Sophos, 6,000 new websites are infected everyday. "It's the fault of the people who own the websites. They haven't secured their own site." states Graham Cluley of Sophos. His suggestion is to employ the same "thought police" technology that is currently screwing over your email to filter your web traffic.

Well actually the fault lies firmly at the feet of those people who are placing virus files onto these insecure websites Graham. Nevertheless, he has got a point. Don't hand out your account details to anybody else, don't go clicking things on websites and installing programs to your PC AND remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch (or video download, music, graphics package etc).