WordPress sites are the major game player in the Website building market. It has tons of features included and I love WordPress because, if a person doesn’t have any coding background can easily host a website in a couple of minutes. There are major 9 tactics used by hackers for getting into the websites.
The security always matters during the lifespan of websites. The traffic from bots and spam comments are the problems that arise from your startup itself.
But what about the overall security of the WordPress?
As per my knowledge, the WordPress itself works hard to maintain the crowd over the internet.
If more websites are hosted, more treats will be found. Always hacking is a nightmare for webmasters. Hackers are becoming smart second by second, and parallel online protecting platforms are also growing. Sucuri and Cloudflare are doing a great job for security.
In this article, I am going to explain, what are the methods used by hackers to get into your website.
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Tactics used by hackers for getting into the websites
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-Site Scripting or XSS most popular hacking method on the internet. Hackers are often exploiting the vulnerability in the codes of any websites. Tech giants such as Google and Microsoft were fought back with successful XSS hacking.
During the XSS attacks, hackers placed a malicious code or hyperlink inside the website. When the user tends to click the link it will hijack his session. The code will access the personal information, even it can take over the account that he logged in, or be able to change the advertisements which are currently shown in the window.
The hacker is always choosing this method, where people are more engaging like forums, social media.
How can we avoid the attack?
The inputs from other users can be determined as a threat and can apply a filter to find the malicious code. Avoid clicking unwanted links, when you are in a webpage. Always inspect outgoing links from your page.
SQL Injection attacks
SQL injection attacks are the high rated attacks. Structured Query Language (SQL) is the common language used on the world web. The common database software is MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite.
SQL normal queries are handled for adding, updating, checking, deleting the web contents.
So there may be a backdoor for entering into the SQL database. SQL returns a value, while the user queries something, which is a feature of SQL. And hackers can use this feature for querying and act like a normal query.
String query = “SELECT * FROM accounts WHERE custID='” + request.getParameter(“id”) +”‘”;
The hacker changes the parameter of ID and inserts ‘ OR 1=1 in the browser. SQL checks the query that the user exists or not in the DB, also returns a value. Thus hackers have sensitive data for DB modification, user deletes, append, etc in the database.
This type of attack can be automated and gain access for the sensitive data, they inject more and more until they succeed.
How to prevent this?
The same method as explained in XSS, filtering the user input and keeping up to date with the DB program.
Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS)
Denial of Service (DoS) or Distributed Denial of Service another method of hacking the website by using a high number of web requests to the server. The server can’t handle the flooded requests and eventually stop working.
First of all the attacker is being sent fake requests to the targeted server in minimum time. So the server can not handle the pool of requests. The servers filled the CPU and memory with the requests, and were not able to provide the user requests. During this time, hackers can use this opportunity for their purposes.
The attacks can be prevented by these measures
- DDoS protection devices like Cloudflare
- Third-party cloud protection services like Cloudflare and Verisign.
- Number or request limiting
- Identify the source of action and filter it.
Social engineering techniques
The Social engineering attack is the use of social authentications to get in the secure network. It’s like pretending as a technical person in your organization or any other big tech company IT person. They will ask for confidential details, by promising that he will solve the issue in an authenticated way, but he is not.
The name of the attack itself socially means attackers using human emotions such as kindness, fear, curiosity, and greed to get things fast. This will allow attackers to enter into your system easily and steal you data by deploying malicious codes.
The hackers are using a familiarity technique to open sensitive accounts. The person makes a relationship either by physical meeting or via online platforms before he deploys the attack.
In 2020 there are 91% of attacks concentrated on phishing attacks. The most common tactic used by hackers for getting into the website is Email phishing, in which embedding malicious links or attachments.
The attacker mostly uses the names of known vendors, trusted partners, any other authority name that is closely related to your business. The person sends an email to the victim stating that their password has expired or someone tries to log in from this country and requires immediate action for changing the password by clicking the link.
There are several types of Email messages you can see in your mailbox, of them, I can list here.
- Winning the online ticket or any other awards in your name.
- Password reset for any of your business or personal logins.
- Asking for bank details.
- Charity works
- Asking for support or help to escape from a group of people
- Social pages manipulations.
- Bank website manipulation
- Account suspension Emails
- Important notice from the IT dept.
- Delivery of Online stores items
- Gifts by known brands
What are the information they required from the user
- Personal Infos
- Social logins
- Account number
- Credit or debit card details
Brute Force Attack
This attack is mostly used for entering into the authenticated sites, by guessing the username and password and is possible with the help of automated applications.
According to human behavior the password they chose, either commonly used words or similar passwords for all kinds of logins.
The most commonly used passwords are 123456789 or their mobile number. These are called dictionary words. The same dictionary combination used here as an attacking tool.
A password guessing script can generate a 10k combination within seconds and also try this combo on these websites.
These attacks can easily be overcome with strong password policy. Now, most of the sites pre generating a series of passwords contain special characters, uppercase, lowercase, and numbers. The site’s login name change is also to keep intruders out of your website.
Implementing 2 steps verifications for the logins will also make you safe from these attacks.
Targeted and Non-targeted website hacking
Attackers are always using automated applications for analyzing CMS websites. Within the targeted attack, they always are concentrated to take down a specific website.
Within non-targets are concentrating a series of IPs and looking for a vulnerable plugin, themes, or CMS core itself.
If their bots find your site having non updated CMS, which has a vulnerability, then the attacker tries to enter into your website for stealing essential data, host malicious codes, black hat SEO purposes.
Updating your all plugins, themes, Content Management, etc. will reduce the attacks.
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF or XSRF)
Cross-site request forgery is using legitimate cookie data from the victim’s sessions.
Attackers can initiate an attack by displaying as Email ID change request forms, which is hosted on the attacker’s site. When this form is filled by the user and the script can send a signal to the targeted website along with the session cookie of the user. The website will find this request is legitimate by cross-checking the cookie ID. Also, we can say the CSRF target only for state-changing requests.
The requests are always not hosted on the web server itself. While we have shown videos from Youtube to your blog or website and users come in contact with these links or contents and are hosted in CDNs. So the webmaster is not able to cross the site’s credibility.
Considering the security, the web server finds nothing unusual, which comes from a known user. But the server compromises by trusting this request.In fact, the request is deployed with another person, who launched the cross-site forgery attack.
Some of the attacks also use social engineering for creating a false relationship with the victims. This type of attack can destroy the relationship between the user and the website’s trust.
DNS Spoofing (DNS cache poisoning)
DNS spoofing or DNS cache poisoning is one of the known threats among website attacks.
In this, the attacker uses their DNS servers IP addresses injected into the DNS resolvers cache so that they can direct the traffic in their networks.
Not only is the cache hijacking happening, but the entire DNS server is also sometimes compromised and redirects all the traffic to the Virus embedded websites, if the attacker had success in the DNS cache, then he can deploy a high number of attacks to other networks. Because this DNS IP will share all the internet-connected systems.
The above said tactics used by hackers for getting into the websites.
Most attacks can not be controlled individually, because these bots are installed across several servers. So primarily we have to ensure our website and CMS is secure and then rely on the 3rd party applications.
At last the web protection is the primary responsibility of the hosting provider. They are doing their part, but we have to do ours.
Keep an eye on every movement in your blog, inspecting each and every aspect.