Why Did My WordPress Site Get Hacked?
Why would anyone want to hack you? The answer almost always comes down to money. Hackers are not targeting you, they are targeting the websites that have weak security. These are a few common types of hacks that I see on WordPress sites, and the motivation behind them.
Probably the most common type of hack, Spamvertizing, turns your website into an advertisement for hackers. It may advertize pharmacy products or adult websites on your site. Sometimes this is visible to your website visitors, and other times it is only visible to search engines. The end goal of this type of hack is to advertize the hacker’s products or services and boost them on search engines at your expense.
This one actually is not financially motivated in most cases. Sometimes hackers want to just vandalize things and put their name on it. Defacement is most common on sites with poor security because it is easy, or high-profile websites for hackers to gain notoriety.
One of the more recent types of hacks will use your website and hosting plan to mine Bitcoins, a type of digital currency known as cryptocurrency. This attack is not common yet, but is worth noting. This hack uses your website to do calculations that make someone else money. It slows down the website tremendously because instead of serving visitors a website it is bogged down with calculation that are making money for hackers.
If your site deals with credit cards or personal information like contact info for your clients it can be a source for hackers to steal financial information and client’s identities. This type of hack often goes unnoticed, as the goal is for nobody to know it is there. As your clients enter their information, your website sends that data back to the hacker.
A hacker can take control of your website and use it to do other malicious things on the internet like hacking other sites or running a botnet. This makes your website part of a large army of sites that are all controlled from a single point. These websites that have been turned into bots are used in tandem to shut down or hack popular services and websites on the internet with the power of numbers.
There is a plethora of ways for hackers to make money off your site, the sky is the limit. The main thing these attacks have in common is they make someone else money or fame at your website visitor’s expense.