How Do People Hack Websites – We often hear about data breaches, but not about what happens to stolen personal data. Read on to find out.
Data breaches result in the theft of billions of personal data records each year. But what do criminals actually do with the stolen data? It’s true that data breaches are a lucrative business for criminals. Here are 5 reasons why.
How Do People Hack Websites
One way for hackers to profit from stolen data is to sell it in bulk to other criminals on the dark web. These collections can contain millions of stolen data records. Customers can then use this information for their own criminal purposes.
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Identity theft is a crime in which a victim’s personal information is used for profit at the victim’s expense. Many online services require users to provide personal information such as name, address, and credit card number. Criminals steal this information from online accounts to commit identity theft, such as using the victim’s credit card or taking out a loan in the victim’s name.
Criminals use stolen login credentials to break into accounts with payment information such as purchase receipts. This is called account hijacking and often leads to identity theft. If hackers change your password, they also gain access to your account. If a hacked account contains payment information, recovering the account can be expensive.
Stolen personal information allows criminals to target victims with phishing attacks. In phishing scams, victims are tricked into voluntarily providing information, such as credit card details, to criminals by making the scam look legitimate. Once criminals have access to highly sensitive information, they can blackmail victims.
In addition to personal problems, stolen data can also damage your business. With stolen data, criminals can target company employees and trick them into providing confidential information or making payments. These phishing attacks, which target specific individuals, are called spear phishing. Criminals can also access corporate networks to spy on them and infect them with malware.
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ID PROTECTION monitors personal data 24 hours a day and sends notifications about data protection incidents. You will be the first to know when a data breach is discovered. ID PROTECTION also works as an easy-to-use password manager that helps you protect your passwords and protect your privacy online. As the Internet has grown, the way websites are hacked has surprisingly not changed much.
Understanding and taking these immutable truths to heart is the most important thing you can do to protect your web, your site, and your visitors.
1.2 billion pages make up today’s world wide web. Assuming a load time of 3 seconds and a non-stop query, no hang time, it would take over 160 years to view all the pages that currently exist.
It’s an incredibly large network and impossible to control. Google’s Safe Browsing feature warns users about unsafe websites. We currently deliver about 3 million notifications per day.
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1-2% of websites scanned with our proprietary technology have a Vulnerability Indicator (IoC) that indicates an attack on the website.
This percentage may seem small, but let’s estimate it as the total number of pages. This shows that around 12 million websites are currently hacked or infected. That’s roughly the population of New York and Los Angeles combined.
Websites are always a target for hackers. And the impact of hacking can be devastating to your business.
Good news? Threats are large, persistent and damaging, but knowing the process of hacking can go a long way in keeping your website secure.
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Whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or your local cupcake bakery, hackers’ approach to their targets seems very similar.
Before we dive deeper into each form of hacking, let’s go over some important basics about how the internet itself works.
There are components such as the Domain Name System (DNS). Tells the request where to go. There is a real web server that stores the various website files and handles requests. There is also an infrastructure to host various web servers and network to the internet.
Today, everything is as simple as finding users, but the ecosystem underneath is still quite complex.
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Many unique nodes are provided by professional providers. And even if a single provider offers more, there are still many pieces that work individually. The exterior looks streamlined and rugged, but under the hood it resembles a modern car, revolving around all sorts of moving parts.
While we won’t go into too much detail about the threats each element poses, we hope you understand that each of these components has an impact on your overall security posture. All of these can contribute to your website being hacked.
When I say that, I mean more than the user login to your site. As noted in the previous section, there are many interrelated applications behind the scenes.
Access control is often overlooked, but it provides access to the entire system from anywhere. Think of it as locking the front door, opening the windows, and leaving the patio door open. A secure front door is not so important if someone wants to come in.
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Hackers also use a variety of tactics to gain access to unsecured login points. Continuing with the home security analogy, this looks like a thief checking all possible entrances and either sneaking in or blatantly spoofing them to copy your keys and passwords.
For the average website owner, I’d say 95% can’t fix today’s software vulnerabilities unless a security patch is recommended. Even everyday developers rarely consider the threats their code poses.
There is an internal philosophical divide between the people who build websites and the people who break them. Builders, and frankly most people, use things the way they were designed. However, the hacker’s perspective finds ways to use things differently than they were designed to.
Bugs that don’t affect the intended user experience in any way can potentially be exploited to force the software to do something completely different from what it was intended to do. The sharpest hackers interpret these errors as vulnerabilities.
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What are the most common website formats? By using an invalid Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or POST header, hackers launch a series of attacks. Some key examples are:
As with asset management, software vulnerabilities extend beyond the website itself. All connected technologies (eg web servers, infrastructure and web browsers) that the site relies on can be detected and exploited. Most modern websites use a combination of third-party plugins such as themes and plugins. All of these should be considered potential entry points.
This can include services you use specifically for your website and its hosting, including content distribution networks (CDNs), like the massive Washington Post hack.
Integrations and third-party services themselves provide powerful connections between parts of the website management experience. WordPress, Joomla! and drupal. But again, there are tricky words! These connection points also provide hackers with additional points to exploit.
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A big problem with using third-party integrations and services is that website owners can’t control them. Website administrators or creators rely heavily on third-party vendors when using service integration. And many are working diligently to ensure integration.
However, like anything else, there are inherent risks, and there are risks that hackers look out for.
You can better protect your website by reading this post. And I’m glad we got this far together!
But here’s the next step. And Sucurio’s goal is to help you reach the next level. Unfortunately, it is often only after experiencing the pain of compromise that someone diligently protects the site and its visitors.
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Therefore, we strongly recommend that you prevent this pain and prepare the following checklist.
Please note that no solution is 100% secure. Almost every tool used in the environment aims to reduce overall risk, whether it’s continuous scanning or a more proactive approach, such as mitigating inbound attacks.
Security is a series of actions, not a single event or action. Good posture begins and responsibility ends with you.
Now that you know how, you will inevitably encounter one of the scenarios described above. However, recognizing these attempts will help prevent and improve them.
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Mike Martens creates words for UX and brand teams. Over the last decade he has created copy for a number of iconic brands including Sucuri across all media. On the visual side, he filmed Creative Morning speakers and The Moth storytellers and came up with a whimsical role-playing game.
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