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Cybersecurity

The Dangers of Hacking and What a Hacker Can Do to Your Website

Small business owners who are just starting with their web application might think, “My business is too small for any hacker to be interested in my website.

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Cyber Security and its Impact on the Global Supply Chain

Small business owners who are just starting with their web application might think, “My business is too small for any hacker to be interested in my website. There’s bigger fish in the sea.”

However, that is exactly where small enterprises fall into the malicious hacker’s trap. Unfortunately, hackers tend to target small websites and businesses specifically because of their lack of security. We all know the kind of destruction that they can wreak once they are in.

If you are one such small business owner who never really paid much attention to your website’s security, then this post is for you. Let’s explore some of the terrible things a hacker can do to your website and why cybersecurity is important.

1. Steal Your Sensitive Information

The biggest risk to your website with a hacker is causing a breach in your data and information. You might own a small website, but your website still collects dozens of private information from users. Personal information, bank details, payment records, credit card credentials are all things your website would have collected over the days. All of this information is a literal gold mine for hackers. They can sell it on the dark market and rake in money.

2. Leak Your Intellectual Property

No matter how irrelevant you think your website is, your website would ultimately hold several intellectual property items. Websites usually possess confidential company data and information, leads on sales, and information on customers and vendors. Hackers can cause a breach in your intellectual property, which could eventually lead to a loss in business and even financial ruin.

Secure Websites From The Sneakiest Cyber Attacks

Not only will your customers be exposed, but your reputation will be damaged, and you will lose the competitive edge that you once had. To top it all off, a breach in security for intellectual property on your website might even lead to hefty fines. At worst, it can even leave you tangled up in lawsuits for years to come.

3. Hold Your Website Ransom

If you think that you do not have any sensitive information or intellectual property on your website, which is why you might not be a likely target for hackers, then you might want to think again. Hackers are probably some of the cleverest people on this planet. They know every possible way in which they can make money off of your website.

If they can’t steal your data or intellectual property, then they might resort to stealing all of your content and holding it for a ransom. And without your content, where would you be? You would eventually make a huge dent in your finances by just buying everything on your website back from your hacker.

4. Add Dangerous Items To Your Website

Hackers can lay waste to your website by adding dangerous items, with you being none the wiser. For instance, hackers might add links to their website to increase traffic, and they might do so by linking your content to their website or adding in some popups for your customers. This might not be so dangerous, you might think, but having a website compromised in this manner is even more foreboding.

This is because a hacker can also use your website as a host to start a malware campaign by adding in crypto mining or ransomware on your website. Your web server will then become the source from which other organizations will be hacked. The hacker can add malware to hack into the various devices used to visit your website. This way, pretty much everyone and everything involved with your website is at risk.

5. Generate Spam And Send Messages

Once hacked into your website, all of your client data is now open to your hackers. They can then use all of this information to generate spam messages and emails that go out to all of your clients. Some hackers might even use your website to send other kinds of messages. It is not unique for a hacker to send across a political statement through a hacked website.

Cybersecurity Important For Enterprises

6. To Conduct Phishing Attacks

Vulnerable website applications are the prime targets of hackers who wish to implement phishing attacks. All they need to do is insert a code into your application to redirect your visitors to malicious pages and phishing sites. After this, you are extracting bank details, and payment information is a piece of cake. The most critical part of all of this is that even if you are found to be innocent in this phishing scam, you might still be legally held responsible for the damage caused to your customers.

7. Conduct Illegal Distribution Of Content

Last but not least, hackers might be using your website to distribute illegal content on the internet. Unfortunately, this might leave you to face grave legal consequences if the authorities ever catch your website. What’s more, website hackers also try to abuse your bandwidth while distributing their content on the web.

8. Wrapping up

When it comes to website security, nothing holds truer than the old saying – “better safe than sorry!” Never think that you or your website are safe from hackers. Treat anything and everything you own on the internet with suspicion, and establish security protocols to protect yourself and your website visitors.

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Cybersecurity

Gafgyt and beyond: Inside IoT DDoS Malware

In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, a cyber attacker overwhelms their target by bombarding them with enormous quantities of fake data, knocking them offline

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Best DDoS Protection Techniques

In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, a cyber attacker overwhelms their target by bombarding them with enormous quantities of fake data, knocking them offline or significantly impeding their ability to offer service regular to legitimate customers.

Because it’s challenging to overwhelm a target on your own, DDoS attacks almost always use a botnet, a zombie army of remote-controlled connected devices, which can launch coordinated attacks to consume a victim’s upstream bandwidth.

Picture it like recruiting a group of friends, acquaintances, and anyone else you can persuade with access to a phone to call a local business at a particular time repeatedly. While you could annoy by doing this yourself, using a single phone line, by getting a large group of people to do so, you can tie up as many phone lines as the target company might have open at once. You also make it much harder for the beleaguered business to trace the party responsible since all the calls come from different numbers.

A botnet works a lot like this. It refers to a collection of internet-connected devices that have been infected using malware to be controlled by hackers. The name “botnet” is a combination of “robot” and “network.” The biggest botnets have involved hundreds of thousands or even millions of connected devices. Those targets without the proper DDoS mitigation tools can be in serious trouble.

1. Attacking IoT devices

Virtually any internet-connected device can be used as a botnet. All that’s required is that it can send messages on command. That means that while malware-infected desktop and laptop computers have been used in botnet-driven DDoS attacks, they too have smartwatches, intelligent security cameras, intelligent kitchen appliances, and home routers.

Some of the devices are ones their owners may not even think of as computers, although that’s precisely what they are. They may also have no awareness that their device is part of a botnet, perhaps only experiencing the occasional slowdown in service — since many devices in a botnet lie dormant until they’re used for a DDoS attack or, sometimes, for sending spam messages.

cybersecurity is essential to the global supply chain

There are many significant advantages to cyber attackers targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as IP cameras and intelligent refrigerators for DDoS attacks. One is the massive number of devices that can potentially target. According to consumer data company Statista, the average number of connected devices per household in the United States last year was 10. Globally, the firm claims that there are around 21.5 billion interconnected devices.

Just as important is the fact that, in many cases, IoT security can be surprisingly poor. That makes these devices comparably easy to compromise for IoT botnets. Poor security may stem from weak and guessable passwords, often unchanged from their default passwords, insecure ecosystem interfaces, flawed security update methodologies, and more.

2. Botnets in action

Whatever the reasons, hackers have wasted no time targeting these vulnerabilities to build bigger, worse botnets. The devastating Mirai botnet, which emerged in 2016, infected IoT devices by scanning the internet for open ports and then trying to access them by using a list of more than 60 default passwords. It was used as part of multiple DDoS attacks.

Mirai’s tricks continue to be used in similar botnets. More recently, variations of a botnet malware family called Gafgyt have used code from the Mirai botnet to target and potentially infect susceptible IoT devices, including routers made by Huawei and Realtek. It downloads malware payloads that can be used to stage DDoS attacks by exploiting vulnerabilities in these devices.

DDoS attacks have been around for decades, but the approaches used by attackers continue to evolve. As seen with the Gafgyt malware and the continued threat of Mirai and Mirai-inspired botnets, attackers constantly tweak their systems to build larger, more dangerous botnets which can be used to inflict harm on targets.

3. Defending against DDoS

Anyone in possession of an IoT device should take steps to ensure that it is adequately secured. This involves changing the name and default password of machines, using strong passwords, providing firmware updates that are downloaded and installed, and avoiding using public Wi-Fi to access IoT networks.

To defend against DDoS attacks, you should also make sure that you deploy the correct anti-DDoS tools. This includes solutions for DDoS detection (able to recognize attacks as rapidly as possible), diversion (to defend against application-layer and network-layer attacks), filtering (blocking malicious traffic while continuing to let legitimate users through), and analysis (to gather information about attacks and attempted attacks.)

Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS attacks) is not going away any time soon. The most that companies can hope for is preparing for them and figuring out how best to mitigate them. Given the potential damage they can cause — from unwanted downtime to long-term reputational damage — this is one of the smartest investments you can make.

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