What is Drive-by Exploit?

One of the deadliest methods used by cybercriminals to infiltrate malware programs into the system is by infecting a website so that when a user visits it, the malicious program would automatically load to the system just by navigating to the malicious page's link. Such a malicious trick is usually known as Drive-by Exploit or Drive-by Download.

Let us know more about it and learn how to prevent it from happening to our systems.

What are Drive-by exploits?

A Drive-by exploit is one of the most efficient ways to infiltrate a system as it does not require much human intervention for the attack, which makes it one of the most dangerous malware attacks. Another thing that adds to the misery is that, during its attack, the user would not even realize that their system is being compromised.

The Drive-by download happens silently on the system while the user is browsing the Internet. Unlike other browser malware attacks, users don't need to click on any pop-up or banner ads to trigger the malware download. Just visiting the site would introduce the malicious codes into the system in the background.

Let us understand how it works.

How do Drive-by Download Attacks?

There are few different ways cybercriminals use to introduce malicious codes through Drive-by exploits. Generally, it happens when a user visits any website. Here is how it is done −

  • In the first step, the cybercriminals infect the web pages by injecting malicious codes into them. This is done by modifying the JavaScript, hiding codes in iFrames, redirects, malvertising, and more such techniques.

  • When the users visit such compromised sites, the malicious codes would automatically get activated without any action from users. Simply navigating to the page would trigger the download and installation of malware programs.

  • The user would not even notice that the website they have visited is compromised and keep staying on the page, allowing the malware to enter the system properly.

Usually, cyber attackers build malicious websites from scratch and redirect users to them through various means. Some skilled attackers can infect legitimate websites with malicious codes by attacking their back-end. Generally, sites with a large user base, such as news portals or tech blogs, are attacked for conducting Drive-by downloads.

How to avoid Drive-by Exploits

Protecting your system from Drive-by downloads is essential as it works silently, and users would not even know that their device is being harmed. Avoiding it is the best protection. Here are some tips for that −

Diable JavaScript on your browsers

Disabling the JavaScript on the web browsers is the best defense against the Drive-by downloads as most attacks are carried out by infected JavaScripts. However, this is not a feasible option as most sites on the Internet use JavaScript, and to use their functionalities, you require to enable it on your browser. Still, you can temporarily disable JavaScript while browsing unknown sites.

Use Reputed Browsers

It is advised to always use a reputed browser like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Firefox. The popular browser provider always keeps their browsers updated with the latest security technologies.

Keep your Browser Updated

Other than using the reputed browser, it is also essential to update it regularly. Updating the browsers and other applications would fix the security vulnerabilities so that attackers could not take advantage of them.

Never visit nontrustworthy Websites for Downloading

Many computer users visit untrustworthy and unsecured sites in anticipation of getting the paid software and games for a free or lower price. This is the typical way used by cyberattackers to trick users into visiting the infected websites. Users must not get trapped into such tricks and avoid visiting such sites.

Keep installed a Robust Security Solution on your System

Users must keep installed an allrounder security program for the overall protection of their system. A robust security program would also keep your web browsing safe and protect you while working on the Internet.