A web attack is an attempt to exploit weaknesses in a website, or parts of it. The attacks could involve the content of a website, web application, or server. Websites offer many opportunities for attackers. They can gain unauthorised access to a website or obtain confidential information, or even introduce malicious content.
Attackers usually look for weaknesses in the structure or content of websites to steal data, control the website, or cause harm to users. The most frequent attacks are brute force attacks or cross-site scripting (XSS) and file upload attacks. Other attacks can be carried out using social engineering, like malware attacks, or phishing like ransomware trojans, worms, or spyware.
Most attacks on websites are targeted at the web application. This is the software and hardware employed by websites to provide information to its users. Hackers can target a web application through its weaknesses, such as SQL injection and cross-site request forgery and reflection-based XSS.
SQL injection attacks leverage the database that web applications use to store and deliver website content. These attacks could expose a wealth of sensitive data, especially passwords, account logins and credit card numbers.
Cross-site scripting attacks depend on the flaws in a website’s code to display unauthorised texts or images, alter session details and redirect users to fake websites. Reflective XSS can also allow an attacker 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 is able to alter messages, spoof certificates and alter DNS responses, and so on. This is a method to manipulate online activities.