Business

How has the Hacking Dexterity led to a Vulnerable Publishing Era

As a publisher, aren’t you worried to find yourself in an aggravated situation over the internet?

Are you taking a sigh of relief to think that you are yet safe from an intruder? Or are you feeling nostalgic of the interference you faced by a hacker?

In order to be positioned as a noted brand online and express your ideas, it is very important that you realize how protected your CMS should be. If you wish to fight an uphill battle for sustaining your publishing website or newsroom, then you must be savvy with the present hacking scenario.

A hacker attacks every 39 seconds affecting one person in the targeted country. On an average, the cost of data breach is estimated to reach $150 million by 2020 and approximately, $1 trillion is expected to be spent globally on cyber security by 2021.

Unfortunately, only 38% of global organizations claim to be prepared for the battle.

It’s time now! Wear a legitimate insulation soon or else you could be one amongst the data given above!

What do hackers gain? How are they individualized?

Websites can be hacked with reason or without! To understand the exact nature of the outcome, we must first understand the intentions of hackers who can be categorized into three.

Hacktivists

You can read more about them here.

Example, the Panama Papers Leak where Hacktivists broke into leaking 11.5 million documents from a Panama based law firm and posted them online.

White-Hat Hackers

You can read about them here.

Example, Hackerone is a community of White-Hat Hackers, who report loopholes and vulnerabilities. They are nowhere domain specific, instead their main goal is to support organizations in making their security codes stronger.

Black-Hat Hackers

You can read about them here.

Example, a Bangladeshi hacker with the handle ‘Dark Knight Sparda’ hacked into 86 Indian websites and defaced them for few hours. The hacked sites included publishing websites, bookshops, consulting organizations, etc.

How vulnerable are today’s CMSs?

Based on statistical data gathered, more than 7,900 websites are compromised which mainly use WordPress, Joomla and Magento as their CMS platform. Among all the hacked websites, 74% ran on WordPress, which isn’t surprising taking into account the massive CMS market share.

Similarly, 17% of websites using Joomla and 6% of websites using Magento were hacked, thus, making the top three most hacked CMS platforms.

Let us look at the year 2016 to have a clear idea of the trending hacking process amongst the popular CMSs in the market.

The infected CMSs
The infected CMSs
Source : https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/wordpress-joomla-and-magento-continue-to-be-the-most-hacked-cmss/

This statistics doesn’t mean that WordPress, Joomla and Magento are insecure platforms. The only problem is that webmasters make configuration errors that allow attackers to take control of the website.

A large part of the hacks took place because webmasters failed to run an up-to-date CMS version.

Out-of-date CMSs
Out-of-date CMSs
Source : https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/wordpress-joomla-and-magento-continue-to-be-the-most-hacked-cmss/

It has been estimated that 18% of all hacked WordPress sites can be attributed to websites running three out-of-date plugins, namely, RevSlider, TimThumb and GravityForms.

Top 3 out-of-date WordPress Plugins
Top 3 out-of-date WordPress Plugins
Source : https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/wordpress-joomla-and-magento-continue-to-be-the-most-hacked-cmss/

The worst part for hacked websites is that they lose their search engine ranking. Around 15% of the hacked websites aren’t discovered in due time, and end up being blacklisted.

Removing a website from blacklisting services like Google Safe Browsing, is not only difficult and time consuming but also damages a website’s reputation resulting in loss of revenue and traffic.

A note of advice

The configurations used in a CMS are default functionalities, which are not really security hardened.

Example, files such as readme.html, xmlrpc.php and wp-trackback.php in the root directory of the WordPress application are not security enabled and must be removed from the directory. To be precise, the xmlrpc.php file is known to be used in DDoS attacks.

Certain awful examples of hacking all over the world

  • The website of Supreme Court of India had turned non functional from 11.35AM to 7.50PM after it was hacked on April 19, 2018. Screenshots of the top court webpage circulating on social media showed signs of some Brazilian hacker who have targeted it leaving a message “hackeado por HighTech Brazil Hack Team.”
  • Russian hackers targeted hundreds of journalists around the world and threatened to leak their personal and professional information online. Read more.
  • Hackers alleged to hack into one of India’s famous news portal server and CMS software on September 2017 after a journalist from the newsroom received death threats for slamming a video on YouTube.

Security might be a buzzword for you now! So let's explore more!

You must really be curious to know how one can defend their digital property during this hacking era. Trust me, any step you take is only a prevention, but not a sure shot technique to keep hackers out of your home.

Now, let’s stop the scare fest and focus on the things which you could do to protect your website and prevent from being a target of online vandalism.

Keeping your software up-to-date is the most important process

This seems obvious, but it is a vital point to consider. This applies to both server operating system and the CMS software. When website security loopholes are found, hackers quickly attempt to abuse them. Learn more here.

Watch out for SQL injections

SQL injections are when attacker uses a web form field or URL parameter to gain access or manipulate database. When you use a standard Transact SQL it is easy to unknowingly insert rogue code to change tables, get information and delete data. Prevent this by using parameterized queries which are mostly used. Learn more here.

Protect against XSS attacks

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack injects malicious JavaScript into your pages, which run in the browser, and can change page content or steal information. You need to ensure that users cannot inject active JavaScript content into your pages. Use powerful tools under the XSS defender’s toolbox which compels the browser to not run JavaScripts in pages. Learn more here.

Beware of error messages

Be careful with how much information you give away in error messages to your users. Don't leak secrets present on your server like API keys or database passwords. Keep detailed errors in your server logs, and show users only the information they need. Learn more here.

Check your passwords

It is crucial to use strong passwords on your server and website admin area. Insist on good password practices for your users to protect the security of their accounts. Enforcing password practices such as a requirement of minimum eight characters, including an uppercase letter and number will help to protect information in the long run. Explore the option more.

Avoid file upload

Allowing users to upload files can be a big website security risk. The risk is that any file uploaded, could contain a script that when executed on the server, completely opens up your website. If you have a file upload form then you need to treat all files with great suspicion. If you are allowing users to upload images, you cannot rely on the file extension to verify that the file is an image, as these can easily be faked.

So what can you do to prevent this? Learn more.

Adopt HTTPS

HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure communication protocol that is used to transfer sensitive information between a website and the server. Moving your website to the HTTPS protocol essentially means adding an encryption layer of TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to your HTTP making your users’ and your own data extra secure. Learn more.

The HTTPS hacking procedure
The HTTPS hacking procedure
Source : https://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/website-security-tips-protect-your-site-7122853

We are not the best, but definitely we are much secure

In this era of technology, not just being good matters. Being secure comes first! We, are a careful consequence of the arduous hacking generation. To us security of our consumers stands first. We back the CMS on a regular basis so that the data is secure and follows the advanced security structure. We protect you against harmful SQL injections and provide you with a much secured CMS software using SSL certificate.

We are Quintype, your one stop solution for a better secured CMS software.

Get in touch to explore us on sales@quintype.com