It has happened to us all. Whether it was your Facebook account or your work email, almost all of us have fallen victim to internet hackers.
One of the first things that might pop into our mind after realizing the misfortune is “Why me?” but to a hacker, the question becomes “Why not you and thousands of other people like you?”
We often feel personally victimized when our accounts or websites are hacked, but it rarely is personal, unless you are a person of great importance. Many times our websites are part of a larger hack involving hundreds of other websites that share the same server.
So you might be wondering, “If it’s not personal, then why do hackers hack?” Although there are multiple answers to that question, the list can be narrowed down into three main reasons. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that your type of website could be the problem. But before understanding why hackers do what they do, we must understand the hackers themselves.
Types of Hackers
According to malcare.com, there are three types of hackers:
- Black-Hat Hackers
- White-Hat Hackers
Black-Hat Hackers are the most nefarious of the bunch. These people hack with the intention of causing harm and reaping havoc. They prowl around the internet seeking vulnerabilities on websites to take advantage of.
Hacktivists, similarly to Black-Hat Hackers, use their skills to further their own personal agenda. However, they do not always hack with malicious intent. This type of hacker is more interested in using the compromised website to raise awareness about an issue or cause. Instead of stealing data, these hackers usually embed information and links or vandalize the website pages.
White-Hat Hackers, unlike the other two, use their technology skills for good. Instead of seeking personal gain from hacking, they seek to help websites find flaws and vulnerabilities on the pages to prevent them from being hacked in the future.
The Website Platform Could Be the Problem
As the fastest growing content management service out there, WordPress has millions of websites, but according to malcare.com, WordPress sites are the most at risk websites when it comes to hacking.
WordPress sites are often easily hacked because their owners do not know how to upgrade or check in on them frequently and, there's often a lower level of security on this platform.
This neglect results in website owners being unaware of the intrusions which allows the hackers to use the commandeered website for longer, ultimately harming the company’s or individual’s reputation further.
So now that we know the easiest type of website to hack, it’s time to dive into the key motivators of hackers.
Why They Do What They Do
1. Reputation and Money
Money, power and influence are three of the most common motivators in the working world, so it makes sense that hackers are called to action by them too. Some hackers, mostly the Black-Hat ones, hack to build and improve their reputation in the internet hacking world and become prominent among their colleagues. Others hack for a living, getting paid large sums of money, under the table of course, for their services.
2. Exploitation of Digital Resources
Hackers steal resources such as website servers, databases and information about websites’ users and visitors. Hackers exploit resources to promote their products and websites by embedding links and browser spyware into the sites. One of the more popular hacks in this category are pharma hacks.
Pharma hacking is when hackers use the stolen resources to promote pharmaceutical products and prescriptions. The hackers embed links to websites and ads for the drugs on the sites they have broken into.
However, hackers also use digital resources to store illegal files, mine cryptocurrency and hack other website.The most common way hackers utilize the resources is by sending spam emails.
3. Access to Information
Despite popular belief, not all hackers are trying to steal your money. Some of them are in the business of stealing information to benefit their company or to sell to other companies. The type of information they are searching for is usually personal information such as medical records, contact information, pictures, financial information and personal preferences. Sometimes these hackers will even attempt to steal high security information from competitors, organizations and individuals to discredit them.
The Harms of Being Hacked
Besides taking a toll on your sanity and emotional stability, hacking can also severely harm your personal reputation or your company’s reputation. Once compromised, it can be a daunting and sometimes impossible task to get it back, costing you time and money. Not to mention, the spam emails, defaced webpages and embedded links greatly decrease your company’s credibility and professionalism in the eyes of customers.
So it’s important to take the proper steps, like using advanced passwords and updating your website frequently, to make sure your page is secure.
Whether you are unsure if your website is secure, or are looking for ways to spruce it up, we can help. Contact us today! We would be happy to spark some ideas with you.