You can’t take Web-Site security menace seriously enough especially if your customers entrust you with their credit card information and other sensitive data. From using strong passwords to defending your site against images that Cyber-Invasion, taking the important steps necessary to protect your website from cybersecurity menaces. This article will take a deep dive into the most prevalent Web-Site security menace, and outline some steps you can take to remain vigilant against them. Here’s what we’re going to cover:
The report shows that WordPress continues to lead the infected CMS pack and the worst part is that it powers more than one-third of all Web-Sites on the internet. In addition to that, WordPress has to command over 60% of shares of all open-source content management systems. Word-Press is extremely popular on the web-world, hence it painted a huge target on its back.
However, it’s important to know that Web-Site security Cyber-Invasions aren’t necessarily targeted at specific Web-Sites. In most attempts of Cyber-Invasion, the Cyber-Criminals aren’t actively seeking out any Web-Site in particular, which is why even small Web-Sites get invaded. The Cyber-Criminals normally employ bots to sniff out vulnerabilities, and once one is found, the Cyber-Criminals jump in to do some damage. A recent study showed that 58% of small businesses are most vulnerable to cyber-Invasion by a virus. Many studies display that small business is number one on Cyber-Criminal’s hit-list. But only 30% of businesses regularly check for vulnerabilities, and 40% rarely do. Small businesses are most vulnerable to Web-Site security menace simply because they don’t usually have enough security acumen nor do they have enough budget or time to devote to Web-Site security compared to many large corporations.
By now, you should have a basic understanding of why Web-Site security is important.
But to make things even more clear, let’s take a look at some of the negative effects that a business might experience after experiencing a Cyber-Invasion:
- Financial loss
Nearly half of small businesses are suffering from a financial loss from Cyber-Invasion, with one out of eight saying that the loss was greater than $5,000.
You might notice that there’s a bit of a paradox for small businesses dealing with Cyber-Invasions. In most cases, small businesses don’t have enough money for Web-Site security, yet when faced with a Cyber-Invasion, they are often advised to pay up, even when those Cyber-Invasionscause financial losses. Even worse, Security magazine reports that 60% of compromised small businesses go out of business within six months.
- Reputation Damage
If any business experiences a Cyber-Invasion which threatens their customer’s personal information, then it comes under their duty to inform their client regarding that problem. If you’ve ever been a customer whose data has been exposed after trusting a company to handle it properly, you realize how this can jeopardize business relationships.
- Blacklisting By Search Engines
Web-Sites compromised by Cyber-Invasion are often blacklisted by search engines or internet security companies. It can have major negative effects on the business, which mainly rely on search engine traffic.
Virus families allow our team to assess cyber-criminals tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), the authors write. This information inevitably leads us to their intentions and helps us understand and mitigate future menace. Virus families and another notable Web-Site security menace both highlighted in the report and beyond, include:
From Backdoors strike the Cyber-Criminals can achieve unauthorized access and rights to a system or network after a successful compromise. In addition to that, it also provides them with the opportunity to breach modern Web-Site scanning technologies and acquire access to controls of web server environments. This makes them one of the most commonly missed payloads and a leading cause of reinfections.
Virus, short for “infected programs,” is a generic term exercised for intrusive code that tries to take control of your Web-Site in some way. Forms of the virus include Trojan horses and drive-by downloads.
- SEO spam
SEO spam is the culprit in more than 51% of all the infection cases and 7% increase from the year before. Detecting SEO spam is extremely complex and they have a strong economic engine driven by impression-based affiliate marketing, making it the fastest-growing threat to the web-world.
Mailers are spam-generating tools designed to exploit server resources, allowing Cyber-Criminals to send unwanted emails from a domain. These forms of the virus can wreak havoc by distributing infection via phishing campaigns and stealing sensitive information.
- SQL Injections
SQL injections are web security vulnerabilities that allow bad actors to interfere with a query an application makes to its Data-Archives.
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-Site Scripting is a type of Cyber-Invasions that happens when infected scripts are inserted into an otherwise trusted Web-Site with the intent of stealing the client’s identity data through cookies, session tokens and other information.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
When a Cyber-Criminals try to manipulate normal traffic of a specific server, service or network by overwhelming the server by generating fake internet traffic, employing botnets.
Cyber-Invasionleaves a Web-Site’s home page unusable and promotes an unrelated subject.
It is the type of scam where a fraudster sends fake emails, pretending to became from a legitimate company or an organization.Once the client falls for this trick, then they would end up providing sensitive information like credit card and login credentials to the unknown fraudster.
This is a type of virus that drops infected codes into a targeted system. The virus’s code is contained within the dropper.
- Banking Trojans
Banking Trojans focus on stealing bank account logins. Examples include Citadel and Zeus.
Keyloggers steal anything that’s typed on a keyboard or touchscreen.
Ransomware encrypts data then ransoms its release. One example is the Cyber-Invasion that struck the city of Atlanta.
- Exploit Kits
Exploit kits give cyber crooks virus upload options.
Bots take control of the infected system to assist in other crimes.
- Drive-By Downloads
Drive-by downloads are unintentional downloads of infected code that open the door for security breaches on apps, operating systems or web browsers.
Advanced persistent menaces are a type of Cyber-Invasions that usually involves virus.
The SQL injection is a web security vulnerability that allows Cyber-Criminals to interfere with a query an application makes to its Data-Archives.
Many Web-Sites and web applications store their data in SQL Data-Archives. Sometimes, you can practice SQL commands to run operating system commands. When a Cyber-Criminal gets access to the SQL Data-Archives, they can view and modify data they normally aren’t able to retrieve or access, which includes data belonging to clients, or data that the application has access to. The Cyber-Criminals can modify or delete data, or even grant themselves admin access. In some cases, you can even access the operating system using the Data-Archives server. When Cyber-Criminals get access to this, they can invade the internal network behind a firewall.
Cyber-Criminals find vulnerable input fields on the Web-Site and insert content via an SQL query. This is often called infected payload and is a key part of the Cyber-Invasion. After the Cyber-Criminal sends this content, infected SQL commands are executed in the Data-Archives.
There are three types of SQL injections:
- In-Band SQLi
The most common and easy to exploit SQLi, in-band SQLi is when the Cyber-Criminal is able to employ the same communication channel to launch the Cyber-Invasion and gather results.
The two most common types of in-band SQLi are error-based SQLi and Union-based SQLi:
Error-based SQLi: Errors can be beneficial to develop the phase of a Web-Site, but should be disabled on a live Web-Site. This type of SQLi relies on error messages thrown by the Data-Archives server to obtain information about the structure of the Data-Archives.
Union-based SQLi: Leverages the UNION SQL operator to combine the results of two or more SELECT statements into a single result, which is returned as part of the HTTP response.
- Blind/inferential SQLi
This type of Cyber-Invasions takes much longer than an in-band SQLiCyber-Invasions. This type of Cyber-Invasions, no data is actually transferred via the web application and the Cyber-Criminal isn’t able to see the result of the Cyber-Invasion in-band (that’s why it’s called blind SQLi). Instead, the Cyber-Criminal is able to reconstruct the Data-Archives by sending payloads and then observing the web application’s response and the resulting behavior of the Data-Archives server.
Types of blind SQLis:
- Boolean-Based/Content-Based Blind SQLi: In this, the Cyber-Criminal sends an SQL query to the Data-Archives, in order to force the application to achieve a different result depending on whether the query returns a False or True result.
- Time-Based Blind SQLi: This type of Cyber-Invasion forces the Data-Archives to wait for a specific amount of time (in seconds) before responding. Depending on the result, the HTTP response may be returned immediately or with a delay, and the Cyber-Criminal can infer whether the strike was TRUE or FALSE based on how long the result took.
- Out-Of-Band SQLi : Of the three types of SQLi, this is the most uncommon because it depends on the features being enabled on the Data-Archives server being employed by the web application. This type of SQL injection occurs when the Cyber-Criminal is unable to employ the same channel to launch the Cyber-Invasion and gather results. This type of Cyber-Invasion is an alternative to inferential SQLi, especially if the server responses are not stable.
Determine whether your Web-Site is vulnerable by launching your own SQL Cyber-Invasion on your Web-Site to see whether they are successful. You can practice an automated SQL injection strike tool such as Havij, SQLmap or jSQL. Besides dealing with vulnerabilities on your own, make sure to also employ a web application firewall (WAF).
Cross-Site Scripting is a type of Cyber-Invasion that happens when infected scripts are inserted into an otherwise trusted Web-Site with the intent of stealing the client’s identity data through cookies, session tokens and other information. It’s important to have an understanding around these types of Web-Site security menace, as 84% of vulnerabilities are a result of XSS Cyber-Invasions.
- Why Cross-Site Scripting is Bad
At this very moment your browser will be helpless and it will lose its ability to differentiate between a trusted script and infected script. Unlike other web Cyber-Invasions, XSS targets its clients and not your web application, causing harm to your clients and reputation
- Why Cross-Site Scripting happens
Many developers automatically trust all clients to the point that they don’t make an extra effort when it comes to filtering client input. There are many variants of an XSS Cyber-Invasion, so the application gets confused regarding what to filter.
- How Cross-Site Scripting Works
Cyber-Criminals inject client-side scripts into web pages viewed by other clients through a vulnerable point. Once the client visits the Web-Site or clicks on the link, the infected string of code from the Data-Archives is sent in response. The victim’s browser then executes the infected script.
Cross-Site Scripting can take on many different forms of infection, including:
- Non-Persistent/Reflected Cyber-Invasions
The Cyber-Criminal usually sends a link containing an infected code or exploits a form on the Web-Site. These Cyber-Invasions may be sent to a victim with the intention of stealing their session cookies and ultimately their account. But compared to other XSS Cyber-Invasions, these are much less dangerous. This is because reflected Cyber-Criminals rely on a victim taking action, making it hard to automate. For the Cyber-Invasion to be successful, each victim must be targeted individually.
- Persistent/stored Cyber-Invasions
The Cyber-Criminals sends infected data to a Web-Site stored in Data-Archives. When the client visits the Web-Site, they are served the data that performs infected action. Compared to reflect cyber-Invasions, these can be automated. A script can be created that visits thousands of Web-Sites, exploits the vulnerability on each Web-Site, and drops the stored XSS load. In this case, the Web-Site’s visitor does not have to do anything but visit the Web-Site to get infected. Needless to say, the persistent Cyber-Invasion affects more people.
- Document Object Model (DOM) Cyber-Invasion
- How to Prevent Cross-Site Scripting
In some cases, preventing an XSS Cyber-Invasions can be as simple as adding an HTML code to your Web-Site.
Here’s how to protect yourself:
Validation: the process where one makes sure that the data matches their expectations.
Sanitization: Involves cleaning up all data entered by a client. Many code libraries and e-Commerce platforms do this by default. The problem with this is that it can limit what a client can enter. Info-sec shares a list of data that needs to be sanitized as well as for instructions on how to sanitize your data.
A virus is a portmanteau of infected words and programs. It’s an intrusive code (normally installed via a corrupted file packaged with healthy programs) that tries to take control of your Web-Site in some way.
A virus can take on many forms:
- Viruses: The most common form of virus, often found in email attachments.
- Trojan horses: Also known as a backdoor virus, it is disguised as a legitimate program but can take control of your system once installed.
- Driveby downloads: Here an invader employs your Web-Site to delivery other corrupted files and can cause damage without the recipient knowing.
- Ransom-ware: A kind of Cyber-Invasion where criminals hold data hostage until a payment is made.
A virus spreads when you download or install infected programs. It can also enter your system via a link or email. Once installed, it replicates fast and can immediately spread to another system in the network. The virus can affect PC performance, resulting in a slow PC response. It can also consume internet data: if your internet usage is higher than normal, you might be infected with a virus. It can interfere with system activities by generating unwanted popups and ads. It can destroy system programs and the system’s operating system. In addition to that, a virus can steal personal information or encrypt your files and then it would force you to pay for an encryption key to unlock them.
Bad news first: most of the time, you won’t be informed if you were infected by a virus, though some Web-Sites warn you before allowing you to navigate to an infected Web-Sites. If you’ve been infected by a virus, always seek help from a dedicated tool to find and remove a virus from your Web-Site.
There’s not a lot you can do after the fact, which means you must be proactive. One should always employ a Web-Site monitoring service to regularly scan your Web-Site for virus and other vulnerabilities. Keep monitoring your Web-Site, scan your downloads for viruses and verify if the links you click are safe. One should not forget to follow each and every security measure.
A Denial-of-Service (DoS) Cyber-Invasion is a state where a Cyber-Thief tries to block the access of legitimate users from system information, devices or other network resources. Services affected may include email, websites, online accounts and other services that rely on the affected system or network. A (DoS) Cyber-Invasion is executed by a Cyber- Thieves by flooding the victim’s network with abnormal traffic until the target loses their ability to respond and simply crashes or the authentic users fail to access the server. DoS Cyber-Invasion can cost an organization both time and money while their resources and services are inaccessible.
A DDoS Cyber-Invasion requires a Cyber-Criminal to gain control of a network of online machines in order to carry out anCyber-Invasion. System and other machines (such as IoT devices) are infected with a virus, turning each one into a bot which the Cyber-Criminal has control over. The Cyber-Criminal collects a network of bots, which is called a botnet. Once a botnet is established, the Cyber-Criminal controls the botnet by sending updated instructions to each bot via a method of remote control. Once a botnet targets the victim’s IP address, then every bot will keep firing requests on the target’s server till it reaches maximum capacity and crashes.Because each bot is a legitimate internet device, separating the invaded traffic from normal traffic can be difficult.
There are 12 types of DDoS Cyber-Invasions, falling under these three main categories:
Volume-based Cyber-Invasion creates congestion by consuming all available bandwidth between the target and the larger internet. These represent the most common Cyber-Invasions for botnets.
- Protocol Cyber-Invasions
This type of Cyber-Invasion is also called as state-exhaustion, they normally create a service disrupt by occupying all the space available on the server or intermediate resources such as load balancers and firewalls.
- Application Layer Cyber-Invasions
This is the most sophisticated type of DDoSCyber-Invasions, named after the seventh layer of the network device where the human-system interaction occurs, and applications can access network services. The goal of the Cyber-Invasions is to exhaust the resources of the target, which can be costly to the server-side. These Cyber-Invasions typically leverage flaws in a Web-Site application’s code and exploit it in ways that overwhelm the system. By this process, they are simply miss-guiding the system into assuming that they are receiving genuine web-traffic when it’s actually just traffic from botnets. These types of Cyber-Invasions are hard to defend as the traffic can be difficult to flag as infected. If you think that only large Web-Sites are targeted and your small Web-Site is exempted, think again. Cyber-Criminals have different motivations: They can either target Web-Sites they hold grudges against or want to get a ransom from, or they might just want to target a random Web-Site. In any case, it’s always best to be prepared. If your Web-Site experiences slow traffic and traffic is generated by a bot, your Web-Site may have been hosted on the same server as a targeted Web-Site.
Here are a few things to do to protect your Web-Site from DDoS Cyber-Invasions:
- Monitor Your Web Traffic
If you will have the knowledge of your normal traffic rate, then it will help you to differentiate between genuine traffic and fake traffic created by botnets and once you know your normal traffic rate, then you can limit it to accept requests as per the maximum capacity of the server. While you’re at it, get a little bit more bandwidth than you actually need.
- Install a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A firewall can analyze traffic before it reaches your Web-Site and it can also protect your Web-Site from botnet traffic surges and other infected content.
- Distribute Your Network Infrastructure
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By keeping multiple network resources, you have backups when one is being invaded.