What is a drive-by download?
A drive-by download is a download that a person either unwittingly downloads or downloads without understanding the consequences of downloading a file from a website, email, or pop-up window.
How does a drive-by download work?
In the former situation, malicious websites use different techniques to disguise harmful downloads from antivirus programs, such as hiding them in iframe elements.
In the latter situation, drive-by downloads often take the form of counterfeit software. Java, Flash Player, and ActiveX plugin updates are all common lures to trick people into downloading malicious executable files that will install malware and other harmful viruses onto a computer.