A web attack is a method to exploit weaknesses on websites or parts of it. The attacks can involve the content of a website, web application, or server. Websites provide a variety of opportunities for attackers. They can gain access to websites, obtain confidential information or upload malicious content.
Attackers often search for vulnerabilities in the structure or content of a website to take over data, control the website or cause harm to users. Some of the most common attacks include brute force attacks as well as cross-site scripting (XSS), and attacks to upload files. Other attacks are carried out via social engineering, including phishing, or malware attacks like ransomware trojans, worms, or spyware.
Most website attacks are targeted at the web application. This is the software and hardware used by a website to display information to its visitors. A hacker can attack a web application through its weaknesses, including SQL injection, cross-site request forgery and reflection-based XSS.
SQL injection attacks rely on databases that web applications use to store and deliver website content. These attacks can expose sensitive data, such as passwords, account logins and credit card numbers.
Cross-site Scripting attacks exploit flaws in the code of websites to display unauthorised text or images, hijack session information, and redirect users to phishing sites. Reflective XSS lets an attacker execute an arbitrary program.
Man-in-the-middle attacks occur when an external party interferes with the communication between you and the web server. The third party is then able to modify the messages as well as spoof certificates and alter DNS responses and the list goes on. This is a powerful way to manipulate your online activities.