What is the most common attack on websites?


In today’s digital world, running a secure website is like steering a ship through rough, stormy seas. The risks are constant, ever-changing, and potentially catastrophic! According to the FBI Internet Crime Report, in 2022, 800,944 registered cyber-attack complaints had been filed, with losses exceeding $10.3 billion. With these figures only expected to rise in the upcoming years, cybercrimes remain a significant concern. For most companies, it’s not until there is a security breach that the best web development security becomes a priority. 

Multiple factors lead to cyber-attacks. For example, the cost of preventing cyber-attacks has increased due to inflation, making some companies face difficulties integrating cybersecurity measures into their budget, making them vulnerable! Global Geopolitical tensions have also led to the rise of politically motivated cybersecurity breaches. To dive deeper into the topic, first, we need to understand the meaning of cyber-attacks. So, let’s begin! 

What Are Cyber Attacks? 

Cyber-attacks are deliberate and malicious attempts by hackers, cybercriminals, or digital adversaries to steal, steal, alter, or destroy data through unauthorized access to computer systems or networks of an individual or some major organization.   

Although most cyberattacks have economic goals, some recent attacks have shown data destruction as the primary objective. Malicious cybercriminals usually seek a ransom or other form of financial gain, but the attacks may be carried out for various reasons, including the purpose of political activism. So, the main question is – What is The Most Common Attack on Websites? Keep reading to know more… 

Top 10 Most Common Web Attacks Vulnerabilities on Websites and How To Protect Yourself 

With the increasing dependency on the Internet, website security has become a critical concern for businesses and individuals alike. Now that we are aware of the fact that cybersecurity attacks have become an ongoing threat all over the world, here are the 10 most common web attacks on websites and ways to protect yourself: 

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) 

Attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) trick a browser into sending malicious client-side scripts to the victim’s browser, which will then launch the script automatically. This virus is capable of: 

  • Install malware 
  • Exfiltrate data 
  • Redirect the user to a spoofed website 

Prevention: prevention of XSS cyber-attacks is as simple as sanitizing your data inputs. To prevent the infiltration of code, consider disallowing special characters or symbols. If left unchecked, cross-site scripting attacks can potentially escalate to server-side request forgery, session hijacking, and form action hijacking. 

SQL Injection Attacks 

SQL injection has been one of the most popular online cyber attacks in the last 10 years, enabling hackers to alter data from databases by compromising a server’s web forms, cookies, or HTTP postings. They use malicious scripts and input fields, similar to those seen in online forms, to trick the server into supplying sensitive, unprotected, and authorized database information. 

Prevention: Prevention of SQL Injection Attacks requires the same level of strictness for data input, and a restricted range of functions allowed by SQL commands are necessary to prevent SQL injection attacks. 

Broken Authentication 

According to a Verizon 2022 DBIR report, nearly 67% of data breaches are caused by compromised credentials. Any kind of unauthorized login-based access or broken authentication can be carried out in several ways: 

  • Credential Stuffing 
  • Brute Force 
  • Dictionary attacks 
  • And more… 

Prevention: Creating a solid password or implementing tokenized multi-factor authentication (MFA) are dependable ways to stop failed authentication assaults. 

Drive-By Download 

Drive-by downloads happen when a user accesses a website, and a malicious element is automatically downloaded to the victim’s PC. It may occur when the user just views a page, opens an email, clicks a pop-up window, or downloads something else. 

Prevention: Maintaining an updated environment is crucial because drive-by attacks exploit latent security flaws in operating systems, browsers, and applications. Another way to lessen your attack surface is to install fewer online plug-ins and apps 

Password-Based Attacks 

Even though they may be used in a “broken authentication” exploit, these are worth their real estate. The range and diversity of password-based attacks are as follows: 

  • Credential dumping: when someone steals your RAM to access your secrets 
  • Credential Stuffing: logging into several different accounts with known credentials. 
  • Brute Force: a systematic approach to guessing the correct password 
  • Pass the Hash (PtH): using this technique, one can create a new authorized session by stealing a hashed credential. 

Prevention: The probability of password-based attacks can be decreased by implementing code signing, enforcing strong password requirements, configuring MFA, and following the least privilege principle.  


Fuzz testing is an online attack that first involves flooding an application with a massive amount of random data (fuzz) to cause it to crash. The next step is using a fuzzer software tool to find the weak spots. The attacker can further exploit any weaknesses in the target’s security. 

Prevention: Keeping your applications and security systems updated is the most robust defense against fuzzing attacks. This is particularly true for any security patches released with an update that the attackers can use to exploit you. 

Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities 

Modern software usually consists of discrete components in the extensive software supply chain. Therefore, a flaw or exploit buried in a downstream dependency or leftover from an open-source code repository may compromise the final website. 

Prevention: Many businesses screen their third-party suppliers for security compliance before forming partnerships to avoid this scenario. They also rely on internal threat detection, code signing, and quality control procedures to stop (or guard against) weak dependencies from slipping through. 

DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) 

DDoS attacks are designed to overload the target’s web server with requests, preventing other users from accessing the website. Typically, a botnet generates a large volume of requests dispersed among computers that have already been compromised. Additionally, these online attacks are frequently combined with other techniques, each aiming to divert attention away from security measures while taking advantage of a weakness. 

Prevention: preventing your website from DDoS attack usually involves several steps: 

  • You must first reduce the peaked traffic using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and scalable resources  
  • Secondly, you must also implement a Web Application Firewall (WAF) if a DDoS attack is masking another cyberattack technique, like an injection or XSS. 

MiTM (Man in The Middle) 

Man-in-the-middle attacks are common among websites that use HTTP instead of HTTPS and have not encrypted their data as it moves from the user to the servers. The attacker intercepts the data as it’s been sent between two parties. If the information isn’t encrypted, an attacker can quickly access login credentials and other private information transferred between two sites on the Internet. 

Prevention: This certificate encrypts all communication between the parties, making it difficult for an attacker to decode. The majority of modern-day hosting companies usually include an SSL certificate as part of their hosting service. 

Directory Traversal 

Directory Traversal attacks (also known as Path Traversal) aim to access unauthorized files or directories outside the targeted folder by targeting the web root folder. The attacker attempts to introduce movement patterns into the server directory to advance in the hierarchy. 

A successful path traversal can compromise: 

  • Configuration files 
  • Access to the website 
  • Databases 
  • Other files and websites on the same physical server 

Prevention: Input sanitization is the key to defending your website from a route traversal attack. This involves safeguarding user input and preventing it from being recovered from your server. The most straightforward recommendation in this case is to structure your coding such that no user data is sent to the filesystem APIs. 


In A Nutshell 

Cyber threats to websites grow daily – both in type and frequency! It is crucial to stay aware of this and implement the best security. Using web security methods will leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks with devastating consequences like – financial loss, data loss or corruption, loss of brand reputation, and ultimately, customer dissatisfaction.  

So, to build a safe and secure website for your business, contact our web development team at Ultimate SEO Help. Visit our website now!