Methods of Website Hacking

The internet has provided a lot of benefits and conveniences to make our lives easier, advertise our businesses, and shopping online. With the the internet comes a number of security risks that must be considered when building a website for the internet. These security risks can be avoided by making yourself aware of such threats. The most common types of attacks are classified into three groups, Hacking, Phishing, and Malware. The consequences of such attacks can vary from something annoying such as viruses and posting information on your website to destructive such as loss of sensitive customer data.

Website Hacking

Website hacking refers to someone breaking into your website's server or database. The most common methods of website hacking are usually by exploiting an existing security flaw within the website. One of the more common methods of website hacking is called a SQL injection. SQL injections are code added to a field that is then placed into a SQL statement that is run against the database such as a username field on a website. This can allow the hacker to run all types of commands on your database from updating, exporting, and deleting data. This method of hacking was used to hack several major retailers and financial institutions. There are several preventative measures a website builder can take to ensure their database is protected from these types of attacks.


Phising usually involves emails being sent to users that appear to have come from a legitimate business. This can include banks or stores that you shop at. These emails usually contain a website address to a website that looks similar to the legitimate one to capture your login information or obtain other sensitive information.


Malware (also known as malicious software) is designed to secretly gain access to your computer or server. Its main function is to steal data and bypass access controls on your computer. Types of malware include computer viruses, worms, spyware, adware, scareware, and crimware. Malware is spread through malicious websites or penetrate legitimate websites and is then transfered on to the visitor accessing the website. This occurs by downloading attachments from email or downloads from a infected website. Malware can also be designed to work on web servers and deliver different content on the web pages.

Denial of Service (DoS)

Denial of service attacks are designed to bring down a network or website without having to gain access inside the website. This works by flooding the access routers with fake traffic and overloading the system until it fails. These attacks are typically coordinated from multiple sources. There is no way to prevent such attacks from happening, but some data centers have software to figure out the difference between real and fake traffic.

Preventing Website Attacks

Everyone is at risk of hacking, phishing, and malware. There are a few best practices that can greatly increase your protection against such attacks.

  • Use Virus and Malware protection on your computer
  • Choose strong passwords that can't easily be guesed by hackers or computer programs
  • Keeping web server software and website code up to date with best practices and security patches