A few statistics to ponder:
Hackers attack every 39 seconds, on average 2,244 times per day.
Over 30,00 new websites are successfully hacked every day.
98% of hackers get to your website through outdated software.
Ask your web developer or hosting company if they are updating your website’s software. Most do NOT.
So why does a hacker care about my website? Here’s what can motivate them:
A Hacker’s Motivation
So, what is it that makes a hacker target a website? It has nothing to do with your website, what topics it covers or anything like that. In reality, hackers target the software your website uses to stay up and running. By hacking into this software, they can steal sensitive customer data or even take control of your WordPress website.
WordPress powers 35% of all websites on the internet. A major reason for WordPress’s popularity is that it is a very secure platform to use to build anything from a blog to large ecommerce web shop.
Unfortunately, with its increasing popularity, WordPress has also become a target for hackers. If a popular WordPress plugin has a serious vulnerability, a hacker potentially has the blueprints to take over hundreds of thousands, if not millions of websites. Luckily, most plugin vulnerabilities are quickly patched by their developers.
Another motivation for a hacker to attacker your website is to gain the benefits of SEO spam. SEO, or search engine optimization, is what search engines use to index, or rank, your website. By using certain keywords, placed strategically in your web pages and blog posts, you can help your website rank higher in Google searches. This will drive traffic to your website and can help you make a profit that’s worth your time.
Hackers know all about SEO, and they use it to their advantage. When your website has been compromised, hackers will install a backdoor into your website. This allows them to control your keywords and website content remotely. They will often redirect traffic from your website, funneling it straight to theirs, passing over yours completely.
This will leave your target audience confused and frustrated, destroying the reputation and credibility of your website. Your website visitors will often be redirected to sites that are obviously scams, and they’ll be hesitant to revisit your website in the future.
As if that weren’t bad enough, hackers who use this approach make your website look bad to search engines, not just fellow human beings. Your website will no longer look legitimate, and its ranking will quickly plummet. Without a high ranking in searches, your site will become one of the millions that never get more than a few hits per month.
A lot of hackers that attack your website with the intention to infect it with malware. Malware is tiny bits of code that can be used to make malicious changes on your website. If your site becomes infected with malware, it is important to be alerted as soon as possible. Every minute that malware remains on your website, it is doing more damage to your website. The more damage that is done to your website, the longer it will take you to clean and restore your website. Unfortunately, The average time to detect a breach It is vital to check the health of your website by regularly scanning for malware. This is why it is critical to continually check the health of your website by scanning for malware.
Unfortunately, even after all of the malware is removed, the hackers could have left behind a backdoor. A hacker can use a backdoor to reinfect your website with malware. Stay vigilant after a breach, and if you notice any signs of reinfection, be sure to reach out to a hack repair specialist to patch your website correctly.
Malware infected websites are sometimes even hooked up to massive botnets, which team up to attack other vulnerable websites, like a virus that won’t stop spreading.
A hacker might want to attack your website to hold it for random. Ransomware refers to when a hacker takes over your website won’t release it back to you unless you pay them a hefty fee. The average downtime of a ransomware attack is 9.5 days. How much revenue would 10 days of NO sales cost you?
The average ransom that hackers are requesting has risen dramatically, from $294 in 2015 to well over $13,000 in 2020. With these kinds of payouts, the online crime business isn’t slowing down. It’s becoming more and more critical to properly secure and protect your website as crime communities like this grow.
The Graffiti of the Internet
Some hackers might attack your website for a little fun. A hacking style that is less inherently evil is that of website defacers. These are typically kids or young adults just beginning to play around with their hacking skills. They do hacks like these as a way to practice and improve their skills.
When we talk about a website being defaced, think of graffiti. The attackers will completely alter your website appearance, sometimes in fun or wacky ways. Typical website defacers are doing their deeds for fun or as a way to show off. They’ll often post pictures of their misdeeds, trying to one up each other to win the prize of best defacement.
The good news is, this form of hacking is less dangerous for you to experience. Additionally, since it’s mostly teens and other amateur hackers performing the defacements, they’re easier to detect and remove from your website when compared to other forms of malware. They can typically be detected by scanners and removed quickly.
Hacking is Getting Easier Everyday
Nowadays, website hacking is almost all automated. Because of this, hackers can easily break into a large number of websites in virtually no time at all. Hackers use special tools that scan the internet, looking for known vulnerabilities. Having plugins or themes installed on your site with known vulnerabilities is like giving hackers the step by step instructions they need to break into your website. That is why it is so important to keep your plugins and themes updated.
Most steps in the infiltration process are now completely automated. Computer programs and code do the dirty work for the hackers, and they do it alarmingly fast. Particularly when it comes to Brute Force attacks on your WordPress login. Brute force attacks refer to a trial and error method used to discover username and password combinations in order to hack into a website.
Wannabe hackers now have access to pre-built tools that scour the internet for a WordPress website attack. These tools arm the hackers with a list of the most common combination of WordPress usernames and passwords they can use to brute force their way into a website. And with the use of these premade tools, knowing how to click a button is the only skill required to perform these types of attacks.