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Home > Learn More > Page 5 > Protect Your Website From Malicious Attacks

Protect Your Website From Malicious Attacks

As a website owner you have probably heard of all of the horror stories that stem from malicious attacks.  Websites can be victimized without the website owner ever knowing that it happened until it’s too late. What is even worse is that some website is attacked through malicious means and the site itself is not compromised.  When this happens it’s your visitors that deal with the brunt of the cyber attack, and once they have become the victim they stop being a visitor to your site or even a customer.  It is very important that you protect your website from malicious attacks to the best of your ability and ensure that you take the right measures to make your site a safe place to visit. 

Malicious banner ads are one way websites are victimized.  Attackers usually try to find a website’s main vulnerability, but if they can’t they resort to other methods.  Banner ads are one of the most common ways of doing this.  You could be networking with someone that you believe to be trustworthy only to discover that they are using your website as a way to get their malicious coding out into the world.  A visitor to your site will click on the banner and then be redirected to another website that is hosting malware or directly infect their computer without them even knowing it until the coding is already embedded on the hard drive.  If you allow a third-party to advertise on your website, you need to make sure that they are not putting your visitors or your website in any danger.  Research accessing obfuscated banner coding in order to learn how to look for malicious values, and also talk to others who have worked with the advertiser to see what their reputation is like. 

Another type of malicious attack is one that focuses on HTML coding.  Attackers have been know to sneakily upload malicious coding and files onto your website.  If you allow users to upload content to your website, you are leaving yourself open to a vicious cyber attack.  Malicious coding can be snuck into executable files that have the .exe, .bat and .cmd files as well as into anything coded using JavaScript.  Additionally, attackers will also bundle their malicious programs in with other free download programs, including yours if you take on third-party downloads.  As soon as someone downloads these files, your reputation will sink.  If you can, download the free software source code from your live site onto a virtual machine to save your own from becoming infected.  You can then scan the programs with an anti-malware tool that is reliable and up to date to see if the applications are infected. 

If you are going to allow users to upload things to your website or give them root access, make sure you use an SSH or SFTP program instead of a straight Telnet or FTP mode of access.  Telnet and FTP are considered insecure because they transmit plain text files.  The information can be read by anyone who has hacked into the network.  SSH and SFTP transmit the data in unreadable coding. 

You should also scan your website on a regular basis to make sure that all of your applications are secure and that your software is up to date with the most recent patches.  Finally, ensure that your server is secure.  The web hosting company should have their own safety precautions in place to protect you and the others they are hosting.  If they are not using firewalls, DDoS protection or anti-malware software, consider moving your site to a new web host. Several web hosting companies such as offer online guides to provide advice on how to better protect your website.


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