As promised in last week’s post, at PWB we have a couple of our own predictions. Keith Kopinski our Senior Art Director, predicts that, “As we roll into 2015 we will see an increase in website hacks. Hacking has always been in the mix, but I think the trend will continue to rise and we will see more and more sites compromised with the reason cited being ‘Because we can’.” To listen to news stories you begin to feel that way too. Here are just a few of the greatest hits from the last couple of years:
- April 2011: the Sony Playstation Network had to shut down for a few days due to an “external intrusion” compromising an estimated 77 million user accounts.
- September 2012: Many GoDaddy serviced websites go dark after hacker attack.
- January 2014: GoDaddy and Twitter divulge information to a hacker that causes one man to loose his beloved Twitter account.
- December 2014: James bond and Spider-man movies compromised during Sony hack.
- Christmas day 2014: The Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox Live Networks were attacked by hackers which essentially rendered the gaming devices unusable.
As Keith said, hacking attacks happen, and they are becoming ever more common. In Verizon’s most recent Data Breach Report, there were 63,000 confirmed security incidents in 2013. Sixty-three Thousand! That’s a lot of hacking. Certainly you can not stop what is going to happen but there are ways to help mitigate the problem.
So what can you do? Here are a few tips to slow hackers down and possibly stop them:
- If you have a blog, use a validation form for comments. This should help prevent someone from inserting HTML code that may cause issues. causes trouble.
- Don’t use generic Usernames suck as “admin” to log into your website.
- Update the security patches on your site. This may necessitate checking for the latest security patches and to make sure that they are installed properly.
Of course other top tips include using strong passwords and avoiding spam-like websites, but I would also add that it is necessary to be aware of what is happening with your website.
Recently one of our PWB clients experienced a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack from overseas. These type of hacks typically flood a site with traffic until it falls offline, because PWB is helping to manage their paid advertising platform and runs constant analytic reports, the hackers were discovered before considerable damage had been done.
So will hacking “Because we can!” become more prevalent in 2015? Only time will tell. We’ll re-visit this next year to see.