Reducing malware exposure

Did you know that simply visiting some websites is enough to expose your machine
to Malware?

Known as a ‘drive-by download’, Malware exploits weaknesses that can exist on your PC, generally in your browser plugins, downloading and executing code without any need for you to interact or allow it to happen.

According to a CSIS study, 85% of drive-by malware uses purpose built exploit kits to target a small number of browser plugins. The main targets are Java, Adobe Reader/Acrobat and Adobe Flashplayer. Of these targeted plugins, the majority of exploits affect old unpatched
versions, so it is possible to greatly reduce your risk of attack, simply by patching these plugins regularly. If you don’t have any programs that rely on Java, it can be removed altogether.

You may think “I don’t visit any suspect websites” however, the majority of malware these days is hidden in dvertisement frames. Consider how many everyday web sites are supported by Advertising and you may start to get concerned.

Using a browser with an adblock/flashblock addon (Firefox/Chrome) can help to prevent some of these exploits from running and they certainly clean up your browsing experience.  If you are an Internet Explorer user, upgrading to IE 9 can also offer a safer environment for web browsing than IE 7 or 8.

If you are unlucky enough to get a virus on your PC, does it mean you have just handed over admin access? The majority of Windows users are also a local administrator on their computer. Separating your everyday account from administrative access means you’ll occasionally have to
enter an alternate credential to update certain system settings or install an application, but it means that an infection will not be given free access to every aspect of your machine.

Concerned and would like to know more?  Talk to us for advice on how to protect your PC from these sorts of attacks and what to do if you suspect an infection.