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Malware infection

Support > Hosting > Security

What is malware?

Malware is short for «malicious software»: Malware are harmful self-propagating programs or bits of code that allow harmful actions to be performed on a computer. This usually happens in the background so that the user of the computer does not notice. There are various types of malware. These include viruses, worms, trojans and spyware.

More information about malware and how you can combat it can also be found at www.switch.ch/de/saferinternet.

How does malware spread?

There are several ways. Most recently, there has been a sharp uptick in so-called «drive-by downloads». In such cases, a computer can become infected without the user noticing – even when simply visiting a website.

How can intruders exploit my website?

Intruders often hide code on their victims’ websites, usually by exploiting a vulnerability in the website software that is used (e.g. Drupal, Joomla, Typo3, WordPress, osCommerce or PrestaShop), or by using passwords that are stolen or easy to crack. When users access one of these websites from their web browser, the harmful code is executed in the background. Depending on the type of malware, these types of infections can have consequences ranging from data and password theft to crashing the whole computer.

How can I protect my website against malware?

  • For your FTP account, always use strong passwords that meet the criteria set out in our security guidelines.
  • Make sure to install the latest updates for all applications used with your hosting account.
  • Regularly scan your computer for malware and viruses.

How can I make sure I will be notified if my website is spreading malware?

We regularly perform security tests to promptly identify malware. So that we may immediately inform you of any possible spread of malware through your website, make sure that your email address and phone numbers are always correct and up-to-date in My Panel.

My website is being used to spread malware. How can I put a stop to this?

Our system renames harmful files to stop the spread of malware. To ensure that these files do not cause any further harm, we recommend deleting all traces of them from the server. After you remove the malicious files, you should always take measures to ensure your website is not exploited again. Please refer to the procedures described under «How can I protect my website against abuse?»

When accessing one of my websites, a warning appears in the web browser. Is this warning from Hoststar?

All common browser makers have taken precautions to protect users against malware infections. For example, they warn internet users when they attempt to access websites that spread malware. Hoststar has no influence over this. This warning appears regardless of the measures Hoststar has in place and, in some cases, will still appear for some time even after the malicious code has been eliminated. After successfully removing the malicious code, you can use the Google Webmaster Tools to recheck your website.

Why does Hoststar react to malware on my websites?

Websites that spread malware pose a major hazard to the users of such sites. A single page view is sometimes enough to infect a visitor’s computer through a malware «drive-by infection». Because this type of cybercrime is increasing in frequency, we take a proactive approach to protecting our customers and their visitors.

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