Effective security solutions should be foremost on the mind of every website owner. With hackers and other cybercriminals constantly finding ways to step up their game, site owners and administrators need to remain ever-vigilant. There are a number of reasons for which hackers target websites, with financial gain and the spread of malware being the most common. Additionally, there are a multitude of methods they use to accomplish these goals. However, while most hacker attacks are subtle and difficult to detect, distributed denial of service (DDoS) strikes essentially put everything right out in the open. A DDoS attack entails a hacker or group of hackers exceeding a site’s overload threshold, thereby causing it to go down. Unsurprisingly, getting a site back up and running in the wake of a DDoS attack can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Site owners who are curious about why these attacks occur should consider the following reasons.
Hackers will sometimes target high-profile sites in order to further specific causes. A DDoS strike against a popular site is often a hacker or hacking collective’s way of making a statement about an issue they view as important. However, the nature of a targeted site doesn’t always correspond to the exact issue the perpetrator is responding to, which can create confusion. In some instances, hacker groups will issue statements that clarify their goals in going after specific targets. Sites that are targeted for this type of DDoS attack include those owned by banks, media companies and multinational corporations.
We live in a deeply polarizing time, and this is particularly apparent on the web. With more and more people retreating into their respective online echo chambers, civil political discourse is all but dead. As such, some hackers set their sights on news and opinion sites that host content they find highly disagreeable. In some cases, the target sites needn’t even be inherently political in nature – they may simply employ a contributor whose opinions the perpetrator doesn’t agree with. Sites that are owned by political organizations or those designed to promote partisan causes may also find themselves targeted.
Dissatisfaction with a Business
Online stores and ecommerce websites are also frequent targets for DDoS attacks. These attacks are sometimes a direct response to specific business practices of the targeted websites. If a business draws the dire of a skilled hacker, a host of undesirable consequences may follow. Additionally, DDoS attacks on businesses are often organized and/or carried out by former employees with an axe to grind. This is one of the many reasons it pays for businesses to have a plethora of effective security measures in place. Reading a SiteLock review can bring you up to speed on the latest cloud-based solutions.
Collecting a Ransom
When carrying out DDoS attacks, some hackers are purely motivated by greed. Cybercriminals will sometimes hold targeted sites for ransom in the wake of DDoS strikes. Unless the site owner complies with their demands, they’ll continue exceeding the overload threshold, making it impossible for the site to go back up. To make matters worse, the perpetrators have been known to demand even more money after the initial ransom has been paid. This type of situation is a lose/lose for site owners, especially the ones who are financially dependent on their websites.
The Whims of Hackers
There isn’t always a clear-cut reason for why hackers carry out DDoS strikes. Some hackers, particularly novices, will simply go after any vulnerable target they come across. Additionally, hackers who are looking to bolster their reputation will occasionally try to take down popular sites for the street cred. Some hackers simply enjoy creating chaos at every available opportunity. Not all of them are interested in making a statement – some hackers are content with being a general nuisance and inconveniencing people with their handiwork.
As any website owner who’s dealt with one can confirm, few things are more frustrating than a DDoS attack, particularly for people who depend on their sites to generate income. In some instances, hackers have clearly defined reasons for carrying out these strikes, but they’re often completely random and therefore unpredictable. As such, it’s imperative that websites be outfitted with top-tier security solutions designed with hackers in mind.