Web site hacking is unquestionably on the rise. Hackers are becoming ever more sophisticated operating within a very close-knit web hacking community. Newly discovered web application intrusions are posted on a number of website hacking forums and sites known only to members of that exclusive group. Postings are updated daily and are used to propagate and facilitate further web hacking.
Almost daily we read about a new hacker attack where web pages from reputable sites are infected with malicious code. These cyber attacks turn the hacked web sites into launch sites for hacking attacks that install malware on the computers of those who visit them.
Web hacking is a result from the adoption of web-based technologies for conducting e-business. Whereas web applications allow organizations to connect seamlessly with suppliers and customers, web application vulnerabilities have also exposed a multitude of previously unknown security risks that may open the door to a hacker attack. Hackers attack these vulnerable websites for a number of reasons which can go from stealing sensitive information to SEO purposes.
Web hacking for sensitive data
If you are conducting business online, your web site is then bound to have a wide range of web applications in the form of shopping carts, submission forms, login pages, dynamic content, and other bespoke applications. These web applications are designed to allow your website visitors to retrieve and submit dynamic content including varying levels of personal and sensitive data which is stored in databases.
Since your website has to be accessible day and night from anywhere in the world, insecure web applications provide an open door for hacking attacks on your backend corporate database.
If a hacker gains access to your customers’ personal and credit card data and then sells it for a profit or simply exposes it to the world, your business can be in serious danger.
Many companies have lost costly legal battles over the theft of sensitive data. Others have closed down. All of them have lost the trust of their clients and stakeholders and have suffered substantial damage to their reputation as a result.
Hacking attacks to implement phishing sites
Even if your database is not online, or is already secure, or you think that there is nothing really special to steal from it; that does not make your web site less vulnerable to a web hack.
Hackers also maliciously perform web page hacks by injecting code within vulnerable web applications to trick users and redirect them towards phishing sites that are then used to retrieve users’ bank account details. A cyber attack of this sort, directed mainly against banks and online payment services, can be the result of SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting or another hacking technique that can be carried out even when the web servers and database engine contain no vulnerabilities.
If this occurs and the outcome is that your site is reported and traced as a phishing site, then you risk possible legal action - even if you are just a victim.
Web site hacking to abuse bandwidth
A large bandwidth is an expensive commodity; hence using someone else’s to conduct illegal business can be one of the reasons for a cyber attack.
Criminals who share or distribute pirated software are likely to conduct a hack attack on someone else’s server with a big bandwidth and use it to distribute their illegal products from there.
Without knowing it, the server’s owner is helping carry out an illicit activity.
Hack attacks to distribute illegal content
Web site hacking increasingly occurs by criminals who wish to distribute illegal content without leaving trace. For example, a hacker may attack an innocent person’s website and use it to disseminate child pornography. When the illicit material is traced by the authorities, the culprit is untraceable and the site’s guiltless owner could be faced with serious legal implications, not to mention damage to his real business and reputation.
Hacking web sites for SEO purposes
Other hack attempts are done to improve a web site’s ranking in Google using hidden keywords injected on innocent sites.
This activity is disapproved of by the search engines and can result in penalties such as a reduction of the victim’s website’s ranking or eliminating its listing from the search engine’s index database altogether. If you are an online business, these SEO punishments could have serious repercussions on your operations.
Prevent Web Site Hacking with Acunetix Web Application Vulnerability Scanner
Sophisticated SQL Injection and Cross Site Scripting hacker attacks like those launched lately on the websites of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the UK’s Civil Service, the United Nations, Yahoo and BusinessWeek could be prevented with the use of Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner.
Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner helps you avoid hacker attacks. It ensures web application security by automatically checking for SQL injection, Cross site scripting and other web application vulnerabilities. It checks password strength on authentication pages and automatically audits shopping carts, forms, dynamic content and other web applications. As the scan is being completed, the software gives you reports that identify where vulnerabilities for a cyber attack exist.