Having your own personal website used to be a right reserved only for developers and those who can afford it. Today, however, people can create an entire website, complete with contact info, various pages filled with content or even an e-commerce store with just a couple of clicks. With so many websites being created every day, hackers are presented with a unique opportunity to get as much information they possibly can, using various shady methods and techniques. That said, let’s go over some of the most common cyber-attacks used by hackers worldwide, as well as some tips on how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
One of the most popular methods used in website attacks are the Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS attacks. This attack floods your website with so much traffic that it overloads your website’s server and makes serving content to users virtually impossible. This is accomplished by infecting computers with malware and then using them to send a large number of server requests until it simply fails to respond. Since the server is under heavy DDOS traffic, regular users are denied access to your website, which is how this attack got its name in the first place.
Malware is a term used to describe harmful software such as ransomware and various viruses. Once this harmful software has infected your machine, hackers can then use it to take control over the computer, monitor your every action and keystroke and steal all sorts of compromising and sensitive data such personal, business or bank account information.
The latest ransomware attack called WannaCry happened just a few months ago in May and infected over 300,000 computers, including some hospital equipment in US and UK. Although there are numerous ways hackers can get their malware onto your computer, most of them rely on user action in order to install malware. This is why it’s important to download only from trustworthy sources and be careful when opening various attachments.
SQL is a programming language used for database communication. Servers storing your sensitive website data use SQL for data management and this attack targets just those types of servers. SQL injection, as the name implies, relies on injecting malicious code and use it to divulge sensitive information including customer info, usernames, passwords, e-mails, credit cards numbers and other information which can be used to identify your users. Avoiding SQL Injection is as simple as avoiding dynamic queries and preventing user input from affecting logic behind the executed query.
Phishing attacks rely on user’s curiosity and provide a seemingly compelling reason for them to click on a random email or open an interesting attachment. Hackers know this all too well, which is exactly the reason why they pretend to be someone else in order to make unsuspecting individuals divulge personal and sensitive information. What makes phishing scams particularly dangerous is the fact that they appear perfectly normal at the first glance. You might think that you received an email from a friend or that you’ve browsing a website you normally do and unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s fairly easy to become a victim of a phishing attack.
Remote Code Execution
Remote Code Execution is a type of attack which enables hackers to run malicious code on your website’s server. This allows them to completely control every aspect of your website, including the server hosting it. The most common targets for Remote Code Execution are various plugins you might find on an average WordPress website. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are plugins used to cache dynamic pages and reduce loading times. However, they had a vulnerability which was used by hackers to take over both the servers and the WordPress websites they host.
This is why it’s important to keep the number of plugins at a minimum and to make sure they are downloaded using a reliable source. Additionally, check whether the plugin is regularly updated and avoid using those who are no longer supported by their developers.
These are just some of the most common security threats and techniques used by hackers to hijack personal information. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does cover threats people around the world experience on a daily level. Protecting your website against these types of attacks is crucial as divulging customer information can quickly turn a successful business into financial ruin. If you have little to no actual knowledge and experience regarding website security, then you might want to consider hiring a professional company that is well-versed in safeguarding sensitive information.