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Your Server Can Be Hacked: Here’s How

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Staying safe from cyberattacks starts with understanding the risks and taking appropriate precautions. Hackers commonly target servers in a variety of ways. However, leaving vulnerabilities patched could hinder their efforts.


One of the big problems is that servers get hacked. So what are the dangers? And how can I prevent it?


Could your network server be hacked?

Hacking network servers is a real risk that cybersecurity teams try to prevent. Skilled hackers are so rational and secretive in organizing attacks that they can go undetected for long periods of time.

In one instance, Mandiant cybersecurity researchers discovered a hacking group that remained under the radar for over 18 months after attacking several victims. Once inside the corporate network, the hackers compromised Microsoft Exchange servers and other critical parts of the online infrastructure.

Because of the risks associated with hacking servers, some companies challenge people to do them. For example, Express VPN awards her $100,000 to the first person who can break into its servers.

How do hackers hack servers?

Hacker entering code on computer

Cybercriminals use various tactics to gain unauthorized access to your servers. In some cases, it may be necessary to maintain a list of compromised servers and use it as guidance in deciding where to attack.

Such lists help cybersecurity researchers develop defensive strategies. In 2021, one team came across one featuring his 86,000 her IP addresses in hacked servers around the world. They used it to warn potential victims.

Hackers can target victims’ servers to change settings and distribute malware. These DNS server hacks trick people into downloading malware from seemingly legitimate sites. This was how it was deployed frequently in 2020. Especially since so many people were working from home during the pandemic.

Hackers also successfully guess server user passwords, often deploying brute force attacks to compromise servers. Hackers increasingly seek to disrupt businesses with attacks, and weak passwords often allow them to do so.

If companies have strict cybersecurity and follow all best practices, how can their servers be hacked? Incidents continue to occur due to vulnerabilities in third-party web applications such as WordPress and Joomla There is a possibility.

Customers may provide initial warnings of potential problems, such as in the event of an e-mail server hack. This is because hackers often distribute spam messages after gaining access.

How can I know if my server has been hacked?

Woman holding laptop in hallway in front of servers

It’s not always immediately obvious when a hacker has compromised your server. Even if the server is not working, it could be just a hardware issue, such as outdated firmware, interference from natural elements, or damaged hardware.

But perhaps the most obvious sign of a hack is when cybercriminals orchestrate ransomware attacks and display relevant messages on infected machines. One such incident at the University of Vermont Medical Center disabled 13,000 servers and put malware on 5,000 devices, according to Pew Trusts.

Other common symptoms of server attacks include unusual outbound traffic or port usage, repeated failed access attempts, spikes in database activity, and strange activity related to account privileges.

What to do if your server is hacked

Dealing with server attacks requires a quick response to minimize damage. One of the first steps to take is to back up all domains and services. However, these backups most likely contain corrupted scripts and are not suitable for restore.

Then take the site offline temporarily. Doing so prevents visitors from unknowingly visiting hacked pages. Consider creating a website maintenance warning page to let people know that the outage is short-lived rather than permanent.

Perform a thorough assessment to determine the extent of damage. Consider hiring an outside expert while taking this step. Allocating more resources to tasks completes them faster and reduces the chance of missing vulnerabilities.

Getting users to change their server-related passwords is a quick and effective response to reduce the potential for future attacks. Likewise, it is wise to check all third-party tools for potential vulnerabilities and update or stop using them as appropriate.

Protect yourself from server hacks

One of the easiest ways to make your server less likely to be hacked is to choose strong, unique passwords and change them often. These are great windows of opportunity for hackers.

Implementing cybersecurity techniques throughout the organization to reduce unnecessary employee access is also an important step. Server hacking is often the result of outside influence, but malicious actors within companies also pose a threat.

Keep all third-party tools up to date and consider using alternatives if you find one that seems particularly dangerous. Consider checking all your IT assets with a vulnerability scanner. They indicate problems with servers and other parts of your online infrastructure that hackers might target.

Finally, keep abreast of cybersecurity researchers’ findings on new server attack methods. Hackers like to stay one step ahead of experts defending potential attacks.

Server attacks occur frequently. However, you can increase your overall protection against cybercriminals by taking simple steps to reduce their access.

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