A web attack is a way to exploit weaknesses in a website or in parts of it. The attacks could affect the content of a website, a web application, or server. Websites can provide numerous opportunities for attackers. They can gain access to websites and obtain confidential information, or introduce malicious content.
Attackers look for weaknesses in the structure or content of a site to obtain data, gain control of it, or hurt users. Some of the most common attacks include brute force attacks or cross-site scripting (XSS), and file upload attacks. Other attacks can be carried out through social engineering techniques, such as phishing, or malware attacks, such as ransomware, trojans, worms or spyware.
The most common website attacks attack the web application, that is composed of the hardware and software websites use to display information to its visitors. A hacker can attack the security of a website application by exploiting its weaknesses, which include SQL injection, cross-site request forgery and reflection-based XSS.
SQL injection attacks leverage the underlying databases that web applications utilize to store and distribute web-based content. These attacks can expose sensitive data such as passwords, account logins and credit card numbers.
Cross-site scripting attacks exploit weaknesses in the code of websites to display unauthorised images or text, steal session information, and redirect users to phishing websites. Reflective XSS also allows attackers to execute any code.
A man-in-the-middle attack occurs when a third party intercepts communications between you and a web server. The third party can modify messages, spoof certificates and alter DNS responses, and the list goes on. This is a very effective method to alter your online activities.