Why Do Hackers Attack Websites?
Do you know why hackers target websites? Do you believe that your website is too small or insignificant to be the target of a hacker? It’s time to think again. There are over 90,978 security attacks that happen every minute of every day and hackers have zero prejudice when it comes to the size of the website or business they attack.
Hackers aren’t just looking to take advantage of big corporations. They are simply looking for any kind of exploitable vulnerability.
Hackers Attack Websites For All These Reasons:
1. Inject Malicious Content
Sometimes, hacking is simply about getting malicious content or code onto the front end of your WordPress site with the hopes that your visitors then click on the malicious links. This can happen through comment spam, email hijacking, or through actual content submissions.
2. Steal Visitors’ Personal Information
This is the one you and your visitors should be most worried about. Any security breach is bad for business, but this one also means having to compensate visitors and customers for the money and privacy compromised in the attack.
3. Spread Viruses
Another way which hackers attempt to terrorize your visitors is by using your website to spread viruses and malware. They can do this by using malicious code they’ve written into the backend or with files they’ve uploaded for download on the front end. When visitors interact with these files, hackers then steal the visitors’ information or they cannibalize visitors’ computers to further spread viruses to other websites.
4. Steal Business’s Private Information
Businesses work very hard to keep their secrets a secret. This is why it’s critical not to sync that information to the corresponding business website.
5. Use Your Web Server to Host Phishing Pages
Phishing on websites basically refers to when hackers create fake pages within your website in an attempt to collect information from visitors willing to give it. They can do this by embedding a contact form on the page and directly collecting information.
6. Host Legitimate Pages on Your Web Server
This is less common, but sometimes hackers actually take the time to build legitimate pages on high authority websites to improve their own SEO. These pages talk about them and link back to them.
7. Steal Your Server Bandwidth
Hackers can steal server bandwidth to host their own activities, such as bitcoin mining and brute force attacks on other websites.
8. Overload Your Web Server
Obviously this is relate to the concept above, but when hackers overload your web server with a huge increase of hits, this is what’s known as a distributed denial of service (or DDoS) attack. Once they hit the overload threshold, the site goes down, and they win. Why would they do this? How could a hacker benefit from taking your website offline? Here are some possible reasons:
- They could be doing it for bragging rights.
- They might have a personal or political motivation.
- The website could be just one of many victims in a broader attack.
- They want a ransom.
9. Vandalize Your Website
For the most part, a hacker might vandalize a website to gain street cred – establish hacker credibility while hurting your brand.
How Can You Protect Your Website?
We have the means to put up a good defense against intruders if we accept two realities:
- We are not invincible.
- We remain vigilant.
As a reminder, here’s what you can do to protect your website.
- Back up your website regularly.
- Secure your site at every level.
- Use a security plugin.
- Use an SSL certificate.
- Create strong passwords and secure them.
- Hire a professional.
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