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5 of the Most Common Ways Hackers Gain Access

cormac reynolds, @BrightonCormac
08.07.16
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Regardless of the type of website that you run, without doubt one of the biggest concerns is that hackers gain access. Rarely a day goes by when there isn't a new story about some company being hacked, from banks through to retailers and many more. Combatting the hackers can be a time consuming job as well as a constant worry. But what are the 5 most common ways hackers gain access to your website?

DDOS Attack

A distributed denial of services of DDoS attack is where the server or the machines operating on it become unavailable to its users. The entire offline system can be compromised by the hacker or a specific part of it transformed for their own nefarious uses.

The idea behind DDoS is that you have a temporary interruption to the website or sometimes that it is completely disabled. One of the most frequent ways to do this is to send hundreds of URL requests to the site or a page on it across a very small period of time. This creates a bottleneck in the system because the server cannot handle them all.

Phishing scams

We've all received those emails that claim to be from someone we know or a company we use, sometimes even our bank or a company like PayPal. They almost look legitimate in some cases but many times, our 'something's off' buzzer lights up and we don't do what the email wants us to do – usually click a link of some form.

And this is a good sense of paranoia because these are what are called phishing scams. They are one of the oldest tools used by hackers and around 400 in every 100,000 people who receive one don't have that paranoia buzzer and click the link. This then allows the hacker access to the website, system or even bank account – because you provide them with the information needed to do this.

Password hacking

How many of us get a new device and don't change the factory password settings? Businesses are just as guilty of this as domestic users and this can leave a big gap that hackers can just walk through. There are sites out there that provide the default settings for a vast number of devices including routers that this makes it relatively easy for hackers to get into your system. Here are some of the most common

The best passwords make a combination of letters and numbers with special characters thrown in. Businesses should also change important passwords every 30-60 days to reduce the chance that they will be discovered and hacked.

Remote code execution attacks

A remote code execution attack can happen either on the server or client side and is a security weakness. There are a number of vulnerable components that hackers can use to gain access to a site. These include libraries, remote directors that aren't monitored, frameworks and even software modules that use an authenticated user access system. Hackers throw various attacks at these including malware, scripts and small command lines, all of which can extra information.

Fake wireless access points

This last one effects people when they are working away from the office or workplace but are connecting to the business' servers. Hackers create a fake wireless access point that may look like free Wi-Fi provided in a café or shopping centre and instead, collects data when the person logs onto the internet through it.

They might trick people into providing their business log on in formation, email addresses and passwords or other information. Never trust public Wi-Fi spots for anything more mundane than reading the latest online news!

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