Common Reasons Hackers Target Websites
Hackers pose an imminent threat to the security of countless websites. Each day, countless sites have sensitive data compromised as a result of hacker attacks, and this trend doesn’t appear to have any end in sight. Because of this, websites owners and administrators are strongly urged to invest in top-tier security software and constantly be on the lookout for signs of hacker infiltration. In short, hackers have long been a thorn in the collective side of site owners. A single hacker attack has the potential to compromise a site’s safety and cause irreparable damage to its reputation, so it’s no surprise that website owners view hackers as adversaries. There are a multitude of reasons for which hackers target websites, and understanding these reasons can give site owners some insight into the hacker mindset. If you’ve ever been curious about what motivates hackers, take heed of the following explanations.
Information theft is arguably the most common motivator for hackers. This is particularly true when it comes to online stores and ecommerce websites. Hacking into these sites gives cybercriminals access to a wide range of sensitive financial data, including credit card numbers and bank account info. This information is then utilized by the hackers themselves or sold to outside clients. Depending on how popular an ecommerce website is, the consequences of a large-scale hacker attack can be downright disastrous. In recent years, hackers have even managed to infiltrate the databases of multinational companies like Sony and Target, resulting in an avalanche of compromised data and public relations nightmares for the aforementioned companies. Any online store or website with financial information in its database needs to invest in effective security software. Checking out SiteLock reviews, and their social media as well, can help show how cloud-based security solutions can benefit your website. If visitors discover that their financial information isn’t safe on your site, a decrease in business is likely to follow.
Although not every hacker is a malware developer, the two are often intrinsically linked. Case in point – the propagation of malware is an increasingly common motivator for hackers who target websites. They accomplish this goal by writing malicious code into the backend and uploading malware-laden files intothe front end. The malicious software spread through these attacks includes adware, spyware, ransomware, bots and a host of other undesirable programs. In addition to infecting websites, these programs hijack the devices of people who visit them, often stealing private data in the process. Websites that become breeding grounds for malware tend to develop unfavorable reputations – and this is reflected in their visitor numbers.
Distributed Denial of Service
Not all hackers are motivated by financial gain. Some of them simply wish to sow the seeds of chaos and revel in their handiwork. This is the type of hacker who typically perpetrates distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks occur when hackers overload a site’s server with a massive increase in hits, thereby exceeding the overload threshold and causing the site to go down.More often than not, targeted sites are able to recover from this, but doing so can prove extremely time-consuming and cumbersome. There are a number of reasons for which hackers engage in this kind of attack. In some instances, they simply wish to cause trouble. In others, their aim is to express displeasure with a site’s content and/or humiliate the people in charge of it. Sometimes, the perpetrators of DDoS attacks try to hold sites for ransom, although this is rare.
Some hackers get their kicks from cyber vandalism. This can entail posting offensive videos, images and other content on websites or making sweeping changes to a site’s layout and general aesthetics. This type of attack is generally carried out by fledgling hackers who lack the technical knowledge and skills needed for more serious operations.
It’s impossible to stamp out the hacker threat entirely. In addition to being clever and resourceful, hackers are massive in number and steadfastly determined. Further complicating matters is the level of difficulty associated with locating and prosecuting them. When working to protect your site from the machinations of hackers, preventative measures should be foremost on your mind. As such, taking the time to learn their most common motivations can provide you with an invaluable tool to have in your wheelhouse.