Saurashtra University website falls victim to malware attack

The Saurashtra University website became a victim of one of the latest trends in computer hacking on Thursday,called “malware attacks”-short for malicious software.

Written by Adam Halliday | Ahmedabad | Published: July 11, 2009 1:14 am

The Saurashtra University website became a victim of one of the latest trends in computer hacking on Thursday,called “malware attacks” — short for malicious software.

Access to the website was blocked on some browsers with a warning from Google that declared the website as a “Reported Attack Site!”

The havoc that malware can create is basically three-pronged: malware may be designed to steal information form the end-user’s computer,use the computer as a host,or damage the computer.

When injected into a website,malware can travel the links of the website to other sites,and when a user logs onto any of these websites it may enter the computers and create problems.

The nature of the damage,however,depends on the program of the malware.

Web designers at the university were initially unaware of the attack,and upon checking,found that the attack was not on their website,but on a host website based in the UK.

“There is an infection in the host website,but the blockage is only on certain browsers,” said Jayraj Vala. “The website can be accessed just fine on other browsers,” he added.

But according to Ashish Tandon,CEO of information security firm Indusface Consulting,the reason behind the warning showing up only in some browsers was because those browsers had specific filters that blocked malware,while others did not. Different malware have different programs just like other viruses that spread over the Internet.

Technicians at the university said there was nothing they could do about the injection since it had happened at the host website. They,however,added that they had contacted the host website and had informed them of it.

According to a report by anti-virus giant Symantec last year,“the release rate of malicious code and other unwanted programs might be exceeding that of legitimate software applications.”

Tandon said: “Every website has inherent flaws because of the codes used to build it. Malware does not do any harm to the websites. But it will hurt the computer of the person accessing those websites.”

Hackers have various reasons for introducing malware,from financial reasons or just taking a swipe at achieving some sort of recognition among the hacker community,he added.

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