Nowadays as digitalization of all businesses increased, the amount of digital data is also hyped over the last few years. This leads to an increase in cyber-attacks where the goal of the attacker is to steal data or to ransom money from it. The website needs to be more secure than ever for every kind of business.

These are some basic reasons that get a website hacked:

Compromised Passwords

Whether an attacker is using guessing techniques to obtain a password, or simply trying out common variations of passwords, compromised account credentials are a serious issue. It’s important to create a strong password, not use the same password across multiple web properties, and use additional security tools like two-factor authentication.

Missing Security Updates

Old software that hasn’t been updated may be missing an essential patch to account for a serious vulnerability. Make sure your web server software, CMS, plugins, and other essential software are all set to update automatically. If that isn’t an option, set up a cadence by which you’ll manually check for updates.

Insecure Themes & Plugins

In addition to making sure your plugins and themes are patched, be sure to “remove themes or plugins that are no longer maintained by their developers,”. Also, be careful when using free plugins, or ones that may only be available through an unfamiliar website.

“It’s a common tactic for attackers to add malicious code to free versions of paid plugins or themes,”. “When removing a plugin, make sure to remove all its files from your server rather than simply disabling it.”

Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks, like phishing, try to trick the user into thinking they are providing needed information to an actual webmaster or account manager, for example. Check to make sure the email address matches perfectly to a person you know, and never give out personal information to someone you aren’t familiar with.

Security Policy Holes

Bad security policies, such as allowing users to create weak passwords, giving admin access too freely, and not enabling HTTPS on your site can have negative consequences. To better protect your site, it is recommended that you make sure you have the highest security controls configured, that user access and privileges are properly managed, that logs are checked, and that encryption is used.

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Data Leaks

When data is mishandled, or improperly uploaded, it can become available as part of a leak. One method, “dorking,” can utilize common search engines to find the compromised data. Make sure only trusted employees have access to the data they need and use URL removal tools to make sure that sensitive URLs don’t display in Google search results.

Top Ways Website Gets Hacked

Social Engineering Attack

A social engineering attack is not technically a “hack”.

It happens when you divulge private information in good faith, such as a credit card number, through common online interactions such as email, chat, social media sites, or virtually any website.

The problem, of course, is that you’re not getting into what you think you’re getting into.

A classic example of a social engineering attack is the “Microsoft tech support” scam.

This is when someone from a call center pretends to be an MS tech support member who says that your computer is slow and/or infected, and can be easily fixed – at a cost, of course.

Symlink Attack

A symlink is a special file that “points to” a hard link on a mounted file system.  A symlinking attack occurs when a hacker positions the symlink in such a way that the user or application that access the endpoint thinks they’re accessing the right file when they’re not.

If the endpoint file is output, the consequence of the symlink attack is that it could be modified instead of the file at the intended location. Modifications to the endpoint file could include appending, overwriting, corrupting, or even changing permissions.

In different variations of a symlinking attack a hacker may be able to control the changes to a file, grant themselves advanced access, insert false information, expose sensitive information or corrupt or destroy vital system or application files.

Cross-Site Request For Grey Attack

A Cross-Site Request Forgery Attack happens when a user is logged into a session (or account) and a hacker uses this opportunity to send them a forged HTTP request to collect their cookie information.

In most cases, the cookie remains valid as long as the user or the attacker stays logged into the account.  This is why websites ask you to log out of your account when you’re finished – it will expire the session immediately.

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In other cases, once the user’s browser session is compromised, the hacker can generate requests to the application that will not be able to differentiate between a valid user and a hacker.

Remote Code Execution Attack

A Remote Code Execution attack is a result of either server-side or client-side security weaknesses.

Vulnerable components may include libraries, remote directories on a server that haven’t been monitored, frameworks, and other software modules that run based on authenticated user access. Applications that use these components are always under attack through things like scripts, malware, and small command lines that extract information.

DDOS Attack – Distributed Denial Of Service Attack

DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Services, is where a server or a machine’s services are made unavailable to its users.

And when the system is offline, the hacker proceeds to either compromise the entire website or a specific function of a website to their advantage.

It’s kind of like having your car stolen when you need to get somewhere fast.

The usual agenda of a DDoS campaign is to temporarily interrupt or completely take down a successfully running system.

The most common example of a DDoS attack could be sending tons of URL requests to a website or a webpage in a very small amount of time.  This causes bottlenecking on the server-side because the CPU just ran out of resources.

Denial-of-service attacks are considered violations of the Internet Architecture Board’s Internet proper use policy, and also violate the acceptable use policies of virtually all Internet service providers.

Injection Attack

Injection Attacking occurs when there are flaws in your SQL Database, SQL libraries, or even the operating system itself. Employees open seemingly credible files with hidden commands, or “injections”, unknowingly.

In doing so, they’ve allowed hackers to gain unauthorized access to private data such as social security numbers, credit card number or other financial data.

Cross-Site Scripting Attack

Cross-Site Scripting, also known as an XSS attack, occurs when an application, URL “get request”, or file packet is sent to the web browser window and bypassing the validation process. Once an XSS script is triggered, it’s deceptive property makes users believe that the compromised page of a specific website is legitimate.

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For example, if www.example.com/abcd.html has an XSS script in it, the user might see a popup window asking for their credit card info and other sensitive info.

Broken Authentication And Session Management Attack

If the user authentication system of your website is weak, hackers can take full advantage.

Authentication systems involve passwords, key management, session IDs, and cookies that can allow a hacker to access your account from any computer (as long as they are valid).

If a hacker exploits the authentication and session management system, they can assume the user’s identity.

Scary indeed.

Ask yourself these questions to find out if your website is vulnerable to a broken authentication and session management attack:

  • Are user credentials weak (e.g. stored using hashing or encryption)?
  • Can credentials be guessed or overwritten through weak account management functions (e.g. account creation, change password, recover password, weak session IDs)?
  • Are session IDs exposed in the URL (e.g. URL rewriting)?
  • Are session IDs vulnerable to session fixation attacks?
  • Do session IDs timeout and can users log out?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your site could be vulnerable to a hacker.

ClickJacking Attack

Clickjacking, also called a UI Redress Attack, is when a hacker uses multiple opaque layers to trick a user into clicking the top layer without them knowing.

Thus the attacker is “hijacking” clicks that are not meant for the actual page, but for a page where the attacker wants you to be.

For example, using a carefully crafted combination of stylesheets, iframes, and text boxes, a user can be led to believe they are typing in the password for their bank account, but are typing into an invisible frame controlled by the attacker.

DNS Cache Poisoning Attack

DNS Cache Poisoning involves old cache data that you might think you no longer have on your computer but is “toxic”.

Also known as DNS Spoofing, hackers can identify vulnerabilities in a domain name system, which allows them to divert traffic from legit servers to a fake website and/or server.

This form of attack can spread and replicate itself from one DNS server to another DNS, “poisoning” everything in its path.

In fact, in 2010, a DNS poisoning attack completely compromised the Great Firewall of China (GFC) temporarily and censored certain content in the United States until the problem was fixed.

To secure your website by the expert, contact TheWebOrion.com