Top Reasons Why A Hacker Would Want To Hack Your Website

According to recent studies, 43% of all cyber-attacks are targeted against small businesses.

This illustrates the urgency small business owners have when it comes to their prized digital asset. A tremendous amount of work goes into these websites including safety protocols but there are situations where things don’t work out as planned. This is when hackers can pinpoint fragile points within the security setup to get in.

So, what is the reason for hackers wanting to go after these websites? Why are they persistent when it comes to getting in and gaining control?

There are several reasons why a hacker would want to hack your website. Let’s take a look at the top reasons and why hackers continue to thrive as time goes on.

1) To Steal Sensitive Data

This is the first reason hackers go after websites especially eCommerce stores.

The premise is to acquire key information such as customer names, addresses, credit card numbers, and any other information that can be sold on the black market. In some situations, the hackers want to use the information for themselves and fill up credit cards for personal purchases. This is dependent on the hacker’s intentions.

However, the primary goal is to go after all sensitive data on the main server and take control of it. Once this is done, they are able to use the data as they please.

2) To Blackmail

This is a common reason why hackers go after websites.

They want to gain control of the asset and ask for a set amount in return. It’s a form of “cyber kidnapping,” where something is stolen and then a ransom is set up.

Businesses often have sensitive data stored on their servers and hackers use this information as leverage to get their desired amount. Once the data is in their hands, they are able to ask for a lucrative amount through untraceable funds (i.e bitcoin).

This method is often seen while dealing with large businesses where a considerable amount of sensitive data is stored.

3) To Make a Political Point

In some cases, hackers wish to make a political point by hacking a website.

An example of this would be hackers going after butcher shops online. If a butcher shop has set up a detailed website, hackers supporting veganism may use this as a means to deliver their message. As mentioned before, this is just an example and there are several different reasons why a hacker would choose to go down this path.

Since businesses are starting to become reliant on their websites, hackers can make quite the point through hacking sites. Most situations lead to a page going up highlighting what the hacker stands for, what the main message is, and why the business is bad. This is something that’s seen across all levels including government agencies.

Political point-scoring has become far more prevalent at the local, state, national, and international level.

4) To Disrupt

Yes, sometimes the goal is to disrupt activities.

Hackers often see it as a challenge to go after certain businesses by hacking past their security setup. They usually don’t take anything (i.e. sensitive data), however, they do waste the website owner’s time and money.

It is seen as a way to bother website owners while learning how to hack at the same time.

5) For Reputation

Unknown to most of us there is a hacking community where Black-hat hackers seek to build their reputation. In these communities there are two types of hackers – ‘experienced hackers’ and ‘script kiddies.

The script kiddies are unskilled amateurs who will use readily-available tools to break into other people’s websites. They don’t always have any malicious intention and their main goal is to be accepted by their peers. They want to grow up to become experienced hackers in time. A script kiddy will become an experienced hacker when he or she no longer relies on tools to perform hacks and can bypass usual security measure using the malicious code that they create themselves.

Experienced hackers care about their reputation in the community, as this gives them power and often financial reward.  A few years ago there used to be a forum named  Darkode (which has recently made a comeback), which was almost like an online black market. Hackers had profiles on the website and they were ranked depending on scoring factors such as the number of websites hacked, how much difficulty they had in hacking the sites, the size and reputation of the sites, and finally how satisfied their paying customers were with the service. The higher one ranked, the bigger their reputation and future customers would pay more for their services.

Final Thoughts

There are also many other reasons why hackers will try to get into the websites belonging to others, and you may want to check out the video below for a few more.  There are so many advantages for them to act his way and that’s why this deviant behavior will continue despite various preventative measures. Hackers will continue to use a slew of techniques to help overcome protective elements despite our best efforts, so we always need to be on our guard and consistently checking our sites.


Video Transcript:

11 Reasons: Why Hackers Want To Hack Your Site?

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you 11 different reasons why hackers would want to hack your WordPress site and a lot of these reasons still apply. If you have zero traffic, zero content, nothing going on. Hackers can still get benefit from hacking your site. And I’m going to show you what all those reasons are. My name is Bjorn Pass and WP learning lab. If you find kind of story or useful makes you click SUBSCRIBE. Ring the bell see system isn’t in my videos. Now we’re getting started right now.

Wordfence did a survey asking nearly 900 people, what a hacker did with their site after it was hacked? And these are the results here. The number one use of a site for a hacker is to deface it or take it offline which is really of not great benefit. Besides any street cred, if you do face a sighting put your name on there and get some street cred. And we’re gonna go through this whole list and we’re going to look at what it means and hopefully an example of each one. I don’t have example all of them but I can describe examples for some of them.

So, the deface site, the most popular one might look something like this. You have a hacker access site. First, you have like a site about baby clothes and now you have this. You’ve been hacked by so and so, Syria forever. I can’t read this but I’m sure it says something similar. And so basically hats off great for your kind. Well, they don’t want to see that. They see that too often, they’re not going to come back. If Google detects this, they’re going to have a hacked site warning instead of search results. If it’s not fixed quickly, they’re going to demote your site in the rankings. It’s just a bad thing. So, it’s bad and it happens a lot, Defacement.

Sending spam. According to statistics, 54 percent of all e-mail traffic on the Internet, in December 2015, was spam. There’s a lot of spam being sent. But you have all these companies and ISP and Google e-mail and Yahoo e-mail and Hotmail e-mail, Outlook e-mail. They’ll have spam filters now and hackers try to find ways to get around that. One way they can do that is send their spam from a server that hasn’t been flagged as spam server. And to do that they hack into your site and they use your server.

That’s one of the big reasons why hackers don’t care whether your site has traffic or whether there’s content there, whether it can just be a totally blank WordPress site. They’ll hack it and send spam from your server and your host will eventually shut you down. They may be actually quite quickly if they detect a fast enough. But hackers don’t care if you have traffic or not. They don’t need traffic and they can still monetize your site even with no traffic. Use it as a server to send spam and to store files which we’ll see later on.

Next, very common way to use a hacksaw is SEO spam. For this one, it’s better that you have some traffic. Because the hacker is able to send backlinks back to their client site or their own Website and siphon traffic from your site to theirs. And quite often they try to do this in a way that doesn’t look like spam. They tried to actually fit it in your content. They might even add content that might go into some of your old posts and add back links to their Website. It’s really hard to detect because really on the on face value, you really haven’t been hacked. There’s no tell-tale signs that you’ve been hacked. They’ve added links to some pages but your pages already have links. Even, if you use some sort of tool to analyze your site to see if it’s been hacked. This prey won’t be picked up because the green coffee extract. That’s not a bad thing. It’s not illegal. It’s not a bad sign anything. So if you linked to that site, it’s not a bad thing.

So, these scammers might not pick it up but if you’re a size about dog tags and it links to a green coffee extract site obviously there’s a discrepancy there and those scanners still won’t pick it up until one day they’re smart enough to maybe have some A.I. like understanding your sites about, they’re going to stand where you’re linking to and they can at the very least say listen your site is not about this or you shouldn’t be linking there and then maybe you can find these more easily. This doesn’t happen as often as the first two. It’s only sort of the very top. Only, it’s only about 20 percent so it does happen quite frequently. I think this is also underreported because it’s a very difficult hack to find if it’s done properly.

Next one, a malicious redirect. This is when a hacker tries to funnel traffic from your site to theirs and they usually redirect the entire page. So someone comes to your home page. All the traffic’s redirected to somewhere else and usually is to a bad neighborhood site or a google terms is a bad neighborhood site and it destroys your site reputation in Google’s eyes. So, you definitely don’t want this to happen and it just ruins your visitors experience. They don’t come to your site. Well, they’re expecting paper airplanes. They go to somewhere else. That’s a bad neighborhood.

In some cases, the malicious redirect can be quite hard to detect because sometimes, they won’t siphon all the traffic over your site, only certain user groups. For example, maybe only mobile devices. So, if you use a desktop computer, you won’t be redirected. But if you use mobile you will or they might have just Firefox users be redirected. So, there’s a subset of users being redirected and hacker hopes will take you longer to discover the hack and therefore they can siphon traffic off for longer.

Some hackers want to host a fishing page. They want to fake a Facebook page or a Gmail page and have you log in. And then when you log in here whenever you type in we’ll be sent to the hacker’s database and then they’ll have your logging credentials. That’s what fishing is, very common use of a Website after attacked. For this, they also don’t need traffic because this is usually tied to an email. You don’t have this on say your Website and people people hit this page and say oh Facebook wants me to log in I’m going to Bob’s Web site. OK! I’ll do that. Most people have a fair amount of common sense. And so they wouldn’t do that. But if they get an e-mail saying, hey, your Facebook account may have been compromised. Please go to this page to enter your log in and password to make sure your account is safe. Then they may go here and enter their details and you said doesn’t have to have traffic for that because spammers send the traffic via email.

Common usage to distribute malware. This is where your site installs something malware on a visitor to your site. So, it’s basically not attacking you, they’re attacking your visitors and a very common one. I’ve seen lately over the past couple years is crypto mining. So, they’d have a crypto mining malware that they put onto your visitors computers whose computers would then quietly mined bitcoins or ever block chain currency of the day there. They’re trying to mine for and they would have all these computers working for them. Mining for them so they can make money that way. This works better when there’s traffic. So, definitely a hacker would try to do this on a high traffic site and steal user data.

This is not common for wordpress sites because most WordPress sites don’t store a lot of user data. It’s usually just your name in your email. And hackers can do a whole lot with it. So, this isn’t very common but some sites do collect a lot of user data and for those. This could be an issue. They may use your site to attack other sites. Build a type of botnet, where they could have did U.S. attack on a different site and they use a bunch of sites. They hacked to drive fake traffic to these other sites to take down their servers.

Pretty common, one of the ways to protect against this is using, CloudFlare. The pro version, they have DNS protection. You might see this when you’re logging into certain WordPress sites like elemental or has it when you log into the element or site. They first run you through CloudFlare servers to make sure that your not bad traffic and have a warning on the page. This is the paid version of cloud that does this and they stop these detailed U.S. attacks or at least try to.

Ransomware is where you get a message saying, there’s something that went wrong and you have to send us money to fix it. And until you send us money, it won’t be fixed. So, this should be as a replacement to your Website. Anybody who shows up at first see this and then they’d have to pay money to visit your site and that money would go to the hacker. Then, they visit your site after the visitor pays. And at first, you maybe you won’t even have any knowledge of it. And this is very common on Windows as well where you open certain software and this will pop up and say listen you got to pay me first. Otherwise, you’re not going to open the software.

Some hackers might want to host malicious content on your site or maybe not have malicious content, just content in general and they can quietly use your hosting server as their online storage. They might use that for torrents, they’re hosting and distributing or they might use it for whatever to store files on your server instead of theirs and refer spam is kind of a weird one. I don’t really see a whole lot of benefit to hackers doing this but they do it and it’s where in your Google Analytics account, you have fake traffic coming from strange you URLs as refers. And the hope is the hackers hope is that the webmaster, you were looking at Google Analytics will wonder what this site is and then go to visit it and that’s how they get traffic to their site. That’s been happening for a long time and they must be getting some kind of benefit from it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep doing it. So prefer spam is a hacker that hacked a different site and who is sending referral traffic to your site.

Fake referral traffic in the hope that you are the webmaster will visit their site. It’s kind of complicated but apparently this gives some benefit to the hackers. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t do it anymore. So, those are the 11 most common reasons hackers who want to hack your site. If you think I missed any, please leave them in the comments down below. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure click SUBSCRIBE. Ring the bell. See as any of my videos. Next up, is watching this video up here, which is the top 10 security mistakes I see people make on WordPress sites over and over again. So, avoid those mistakes and watch that video up there. Now, after that what is video down here. Which explains why it’s almost impossible to prevent a hack. Eventually your site will be hacked. This is why and what you should do about it. Until next time, keep crushing it. I will see you in the next video.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

All websites on the internet are vulnerable to hacking attempts. The reason why WordPress sites are a common target is because WordPress is world’s most popular website builder. Some hackers have malicious intents like distributing malware, using a site to attack other websites, or spamming the internet.
Anything can be hacked. While HTML is safe against 99% of attacks, if someone gets root access to your server they can put whatever they want in the pages. If you define HTML as HTML / CSS, then the answer is NO! Only by direct access to the source code.
In a separate post, Google outlined the following six ways that websites get hacked by spammers:
  • Compromised passwords.
  • Missing security updates.
  • Insecure themes and plugins.
  • Social engineering.
  • Security policy holes.
  • Data leaks.

WordPress website hacking is done mainly through the vulnerability in the plugins. If you can find any kind of malicious or unsecured plugins in victims wordpress blog it can be hacked by changing some values and etc., other ways are social engineering and brute force attack. By itself WordPress is a very secure CMS.

Computer hackers are unauthorized users who break into computer systems in order to steal, change or destroy information, often by installing dangerous malware without your knowledge or consent. Their clever tactics and detailed technical knowledge help them access the information you really don’t want them to have.
According to statistics From 40,000  WordPress Websites in Alexa Top 1 Million, more than 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks. Ever wondered why WordPress is such a popular target for malicious hackers?
Malicious websites and drive-by-downloads

A drive-by-download is a download that occurs when a user visits a malicious website that is hosting an exploit kit for malware attacks. The exploit kit will look for a vulnerability in the software of the browser, and inject malware via the security hole.

SQL injection is a code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution (e.g. to dump the database contents to the attacker).
Usually the main reason websites get hacked is because of obsolete software.WordPress is a software application that needs to be updated whenever a new version is available as in many cases the upgrades are security upgrades.

Malicious hackers use programs to: The trial and error method of hacking passwords is called a brute force attack, meaning the hacker tries to generate every possible combination to gain access. Another way to hack passwords is to use a dictionary attack, a program that inserts common words into password fields.

*The information above does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified attorney.