When you think of websites being infected with malware, what types of sites come to mind? Pharmaceutical sites, porn sites or sites that bombard you with pop-up ads? While these sites could very well be malicious, you’re actually more likely to run into malware while visiting one of your typical, everyday e-commerce or news sites. Today, 75 percent of legitimate websites are at risk of malware. Malware, also known as malicious software, is designed to harm a website and its visitors.

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There are often very obvious signs your website has been infected with malware – for example, it’s redirecting to another malicious site. However, there are cases when the signs aren’t so obvious. For example, a backdoor file is a type of malware attackers create to access a website while remaining undetected.

How To Identify Malware

Malware can be found inside your website’s HTML files, PHP files, database, and a number of other areas. If you think a cybercriminal has been tampering in any of these places, there are ways to check if they’ve infected your site.

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A website scanner is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to spot malware on your website. Scanners are typically designed to automatically check a website’s files for known malware scripts, algorithms, backdoor files, and malicious code. If malware is found, you should be alerted immediately.

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You can also identify malware by manually reviewing your website’s source code for any questionable scripts. A script attribute specifies the URL of an external script file. If you notice an unrecognizable site or file after “<script src=>” in your code, you could have malware.

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Another way to sight malware is by paying extra attention to your iframe attribute. This line of code is used to specify a document’s url to embed in the iframe. If you view your line of code, <iframe src=”URL”>, and notice the URL has been changed without your knowing, you can assume it’s a malicious link.

How to Remove Malware

Now that you know how to identify the more common uses of malware, you should familiarize yourself with how to remove it.

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Not only is a website scanner a great tool for finding malware, but certain scanners are able to clean the malware as well. For example, the SiteLock SMART scanner can detect and eliminate common malware from a website. It uses a file transfer protocol (FTP) based scan to automatically download, scan and clean a website’s files. Once the files are clean, it will automatically upload the files back to its server.

There are times when a website scanner finds malware on a website but can’t remove it without affecting the functionality of the site. At that point, you or an engineer, would need to take matters into your own hands by manually removing the malware using the same method as SiteLock SMART. This can be done by manually downloading the website and searching each file, line by line, for malicious code. Once the malware is found, it needs to be manually removed. From there, you can place the clean version back on the server.

Malware can be used to steal information, delete data and shutdown an entire site. If you’d like to learn how you can protect your website from these threats, call SiteLock any time at 855.378.6200.