Friday 13 September, 2013

Internet Security – Why Would Anybody Attack My Site?

Many website owners fail to protect their sites adequately because they can’t imagine why anyone would want to attack them. You might be a small business owner that doesn’t even handle sensitive customer financial information. Why would you be a target? But hackers have their reasons and nobody online is safe. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

Sensitive Information

Hackers may attack your site to gather sensitive information on your customers, and this information doesn’t have to be financial in nature. Even if you don’t handle credit card numbers or Paypal accounts, your data is valuable. Hackers attack sites to gather personal information, which can be used for a variety of malevolent purposes. There is a market for personal information and some hackers sell what they gather. If your site handles any personal information at all, it could be a target.

Spam, Anyone?

Someone may attack your computer for the sole purpose of spamming you. Your site gets compromised and suddenly you get hundreds of spam messages in your email inbox. Again, they can sell your access information to other spammers and the amount you get will multiply.

Your Computer Is Compromised

One of the scarier kinds of attacks is when a hacker accesses your computer and uses it as a relay server to hide illegal activity. This means that they use your computer to hack or spam other people. When they do this, the authorities can’t trace their activity. Although you won’t be blamed for the crimes, they’re being perpetrated from your IP address.

Illicit Storage

A similar kind of attack is when a hacker gains access to a computer in order to store something they don’t want others to find. They may store sensitive data they need to carry out their crimes or material that is illegal. Again, you won’t be prosecuted for having it on your computer, but it’s still frightening.

The Perfect Data Storm

There’s a certain type of attack called a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS. This is when a hacker floods a system with data in order to make it crash. They may have any number of motives for doing this. In order to carry out a DDoS attack, a hacker needs access to a number of networks. These attacks have been known to bring down major sites and slow down internet connections worldwide.

Someone with a Grudge

The hacker may be someone you know who has it in for you, like a competitor or an ex-employee. The idea of an ex-employee is particularly scary because they may have some limited authorization or they may know the inner workings of your business.

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Finally, some hackers attack networks because of the thrill it gives them. An attack may be nothing more than youthful mischief, like kids covering a yard in toilet paper. Some people just like to mess with you.

Actually, it’s estimated that most attacks aren’t carried out for money. They’re carried out for the various reasons above. So if you think your site is safe, think again. Make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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