Website Hacking and How to Prevent It

Exploits & Payloads

As you can see, exploits and payloads can cause significant harm to your website. The website called Beyond Security does an excellent job of explaining the seriousness of exploits,

SQL Injection

Another relatively common method of breaching your site’s security is SQL injection. SQL injection is possible when you have SQL queries input by your users that are not sanitized. That is, your users can input data that gives them access to your database by inputting a string that escapes the query and lets them run their queries. For example, there are many Content Management Websites, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, to name a few, that need databases to function. To solve this, many languages that interact with SQL databases allow you to use prepared statements that ensure all inputs are correctly entered and will not break the query. You may also validate the inputs yourself.

Cross-Site Scripting

Another standard method that hackers can use to compromise your site’s security is cross-site scripting or XSS. Similar to SQL Injection, this occurs when a script is executed without validation, possibly even running on other users’ computers when they view the affected page. You must ensure that any text being entered is validated and text or special characters used for coding are not authorized and run as a script.

Not displaying Error Codes.

If an external threat is posed via some form of a script, the site will most likely generate an error messages contain. A message with too much information, especially if the syntactic error code is revealed, could allow hackers to explore a not-so-secure website further. If you use error messages, keep them simple enough for users to understand but do not include any information that could reveal anything about the inside workings of the site.

Strong Passwords

Sometimes a hack will not only put the security of your site at risk but the users of your site as well. As mentioned before, cross-site scripting is one way that this can happen, but there are other ways. If your site allows people to create accounts with passwords, make sure your users are using strong passwords. Enforce rules on passwords to make them harder to guess or brute force, and encrypt your users’ passwords. Never store passwords in plain text; encrypt or hash your passwords so that nobody will be able to know the original passwords in the event of a password leak. Along with enforcing your users’ passwords, make sure any administrative passwords are secure as well.

Uploading Files

Allowing users to upload files to your site can also present considerable risk. Even when doing something such as allowing users to upload pictures, you must take precautions to ensure that this cannot be used maliciously. The most common way this is done is by uploading a file with a misleading extension, such as an executable that appears to be an image. This can cause unintended behavior such as a malicious executable being run on your server. Hence, why it’s paramount to validate all files uploaded to your site, making sure that the extensions are appropriate. If you are letting users upload an image, make sure the file is an image.

Backlinks

Backlinks pointing to your website can be another thing that can put your website at risk. Kristen Gold says on the website Search Engine People,

HTTPS

Another way your users could be put at risk is if your site does not use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). With HTTPS, your users will be sure to connect to the correct server, ensuring that nobody is intercepting the data sent between the client and server. If you are not using HTTPS to deliver content, hackers may be able to use this to their advantage to gain information about your site or its users. This applies even more if your site is sending users’ personal information over the network; without HTTPS, this could be intercepted and put your users at risk.

Updates

With all the different ways hackers can get into your site or gain information about your users, what can you do? One of the simplest things you can do to protect your website is to make sure the software is up to date. This includes both software on the machine, such as hosting software and the operating system itself. If you use a hosting service, this shouldn’t be something you must worry about, but it can be a problem if you decide to host your website on your machine. Another measure is to set up a strong firewall. This can ensure that any data traveling to and from your site is legitimate and not malicious. A firewall can filter out malicious data and a heavy amount of traffic coming from users trying to overload your site. The firewall can also be used to block ports that aren’t being used to prevent unexpected intrusions.

Backup

Just in case something ever goes wrong, make sure to back up your site and its data regularly. In case you become a victim of one of these attacks, the least you can do is restore your site.

How They Hack Websites

Website hacking is a way to find the loophole and attack (hack) those loopholes. When we talk about Loopholes, include software defect, hardware defect, defect of a networking protocol, management deficiency, and Man-made faults. Hacking can be tremendous destruction on the website. So, how can they find those loopholes and attack websites?

How to judge SQL injection vulnerability

In general, SQL injection generally exits in the form; HTTP://XXX.XXX.XXX/abc.asp? Id= xx with parameters. Such as ASP dynamic web pages, where a dynamic page may only have one parameter, sometimes there may be N parameters, sometimes integer parameters, sometimes string-type parameters, etc. In short, as long as there is a dynamic web page with parameters and a page has access to the database, then there may be a potential for a SQL injection. If web developers do not have security measures and awareness and do not carry out the necessary character filtering, SQL injection is very likely.

Analysis;

SQL injection attacks are very annoying security vulnerabilities that professional web developers are aware of. No matter what platform, technology, or data layer, they need to be sure they understand and prevent such attacks. Unfortunately, not all developers often spend time understanding possible vulnerabilities and their applications, and worse, their customers suffer.

Takeaway on Website Hacking and How to Prevent It

On August 16, 2006, the first Web threat sample appeared, and as of October 25, 2006, the 150th variant had been produced and continued to evolve.

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