The Growing Risk of Automated Threats on Websites

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In this article, we’ll talk about the growing risk of automated threats and how they can affect a website negatively.

Over the course of the years, the nature of automated attacks on website has dramatically changed. Unlike before, instead of real hackers, online bots are used in web attacks. Because of this new undesirable trend on the internet, the OWASP published the Automated Threat Handbook in 2015. This handbook has been useful to thousands of business owners to improve their website’s security software and prevent automated threats from causing damage.

In this article, we’ll talk about the growing risk of automated threats and how they can affect a website negatively.

1. Carding Fraud

In a carding fraud, hackers run hundreds of small purchases with the use of stolen credit card details. Later, they will resell the items purchased at a higher price on their own platform. This can result in a lot of issues such as poor merchant recording, chargeback penalties, and loss of brand reputation.

2. Web Scraping

Web scraping is the collection of application information for a hacker’s personal use. A lot of websites are susceptible to web scraping, especially sites like pharma websites. Pharma brand websites are a favorite victim of web scraping because these websites are usually owned by drug manufacturers themselves. For this reason, they have relevant and original content. That’s why it is expected that fake websites that post drug information are interested in a pharma website.

Hackers can use automated bots to scrape information from your website and publish it on other websites. Information theft is not the worst thing that can happen to you and your website in web scraping. This automated threat can also cause your website’s SEO ranking to drop. As a result, when people search information about your drug, they will find your content somewhere else, rather than on your website, where it originally came from. As you receive fewer visitors, your website’s traffic will decrease. Worse, your revenues will do, too.

Of course, web scraping does not only happen on medical websites. All other types of websites can also be a victim of this automated threat.

3. Credential Stuffing

The perfect example of credential stuffing is what happened to Verizon. After acquiring Yahoo last 2017, the company became the talk of the town as it compromised the Yahoo accounts of 3 billion users.

Verizon shouldn’t be the one in blame, though, because the issue was caused by a 2013 credential stuffing attack. The personal information of unfortunate Yahoo users was stolen, including their names and passwords.

Credential stuffing is a hacker’s mass login attempts to verify stolen login details. Hackers buy stolen login information from the dark web. Then, they would visit brand websites to test the pairs of username and password that they bought. The real problem begins when a match works. With the right combination of a username and password, cybercriminals can hack into the account of a real human being. In the worst case scenario, if the owner of the account is a highly valuable individual, like a doctor, hackers can sell his login information on the dark web for a great price.

Conclusion

As a website owner, you shouldn’t overlook the growth of automated threats on the internet. It can harm almost everything online. As the threat continues, it is wise to have more online awareness regarding the automated threats on websites.

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