Most people do not realize that their WordPress website is at risk of being hacked on a daily basis.
According to WordPress, they currently run more than 20% of the web, and that number is growing daily. The sheer size of WordPress makes it an attractive target for attacks.
What motivates people to attack sites? For some, the thrill of causing destruction is enough reason. However, most are out to gain monetarily. You may be thinking, why would someone be interested in my blog or website?
1. Free and anonymous computing power
The average hacker is interested in the computer power of the web-server, not the website itself. The free electricity can be used to hide the hacker’s identity while they perform other tasks and/or complete complex computations like those used to “mine” digital currencies like Bitcoin.
2. Negative SEO
Once the hacker has compromised your website (usually due to neglecting regular updates) they install software on the server, generating a 1,000’s of emails (from YOUR domain) requesting backlinks to bad, spammy sites. Once Google sees this activity, your rankings will TANK as you are associated with Spam and it can take months to recover…if you can recover at all!
With control of your website, the hacker can program billions of spam emails in a very short time span. The attacker can send the emails for free and, by using your account, becomes hard to trace. Once a problem is spotted on your account, the attacker has already received their payout. Spam = $. Hosting companies and website owners (like YOU) will have to invest both time and money to clean up the mess of their servers get black-listed as spam sources.
Attackers also can gain profit by selling space on hacked websites to marketeers looking for a quick way to boost search rankings. Links are inserted on your web pages, most of which are visible only to search engines, as a way to move their site up the search rankings. It is cheaper to buy space on hacked websites than to build credible and genuine interest in products.
4. Spreading viruses
A hacked website can be altered to spread viruses to visitors. If a visitor’s security on their PC, MAC, or other device is not up to date, their computer can possibly be infected by your hacked website. The attacker may also install malicious software (or malware) that captures any clicks you make with the mouse or passwords you type and save them to their computer, thus gaining access to your personal identity.
In short, hacking is a profitable activity. Weak passwords and plugins that are not updated can provide ways for attackers to use your computing power to make money.
Make sure you are protected from attacks, no matter how small or large your site is. Everyone is at risk and must work to stay one step ahead of malicious people.
Josiesque Designs provides a Security Protection Plan for all CMS websites. We keep your site current with the latest version of your CMS and apply any security patches when needed. If you are still hacked, we will fix the damage done to your website promptly at no cost to you. Contact us if you want to sign-up for this protection plan.