I've got a weird contact message through my website, claiming they have found a security vulnerability and wonder if I have a bug bounty program.

The details they shared:

Only what I can say is that I found a way to infect people with silent java drive by on one of your websites .

What does this mean to infect people with silent java drive?

1 Answer 1


It's called a "drive by" or "drive by download". From Wikipedia:

Drive-by download means two things, each concerning the unintended download of computer software from the Internet:

  1. Downloads which a person authorized but without understanding the consequences (e.g. 2. downloads which install an unknown or counterfeit executable program, ActiveX component, or Java applet).

Any download that happens without a person's knowledge, often a computer virus, spyware, malware, or crimeware.

Drive-by downloads may happen when visiting a website, viewing an e-mail message or by clicking on a deceptive pop-up window:[2] by clicking on the window in the mistaken belief that, for instance, an error report from the computer' operating system itself is being acknowledged, or that an innocuous advertisement pop-up is being dismissed. In such cases, the "supplier" may claim that the user "consented" to the download, although actually the user was unaware of having started an unwanted or malicious software download. Websites that exploit the Windows Metafile vulnerability (eliminated by a Windows update of 5 January 2006) may provide examples of drive-by downloads of this sort.

Hackers use different techniques to obfuscate the malicious code, so that antivirus software is unable to recognize it. The code is executed in hidden iframes, and can go undetected.

A drive-by install (or installation) is a similar event. It refers to installation rather than download (though sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably).

Basically they claim to have found a vulnerability in your website where they can force users to download and execute code to infect their computers. This is probably due to a XSS flaw in your website.

  • Sounds like someone trying to sell website security services...you can scan your website for exploits with various online services - many for free.
    – dan
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 14:28
  • @dan did u ever use a specific one from that google search list?
    – Noam
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 16:01
  • @Noam I modified and compiled my own using skipfish which is open-source. I try to avoid recommending commercial products & services, but there's a recent question here regarding one where the author cited in that had responded here...
    – dan
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 16:15

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