A web attack is an attempt to exploit weaknesses within websites, or portions of it. The attacks may affect the content, web application or server of a site. Websites provide many opportunities for attackers to gain unauthorized access, obtain sensitive information, or create malicious content.
Attackers look for vulnerabilities in the content or structure of a website in order to obtain data, gain control of it, or harm users. The most frequent attacks are brute force attacks (XSS) or attacks on uploads of files, and cross-site scripting. Other attacks are carried out through social engineering, for instance phishing, and malware attacks that include trojans, ransomware or spyware.
Most website attacks are directed at the web application. This is the hardware and software used by a website to provide information to its users. Hackers are able to attack the security of a website application by exploiting its weaknesses, such as SQL injection cross-site request forgery and reflection-based XSS.
SQL injection attacks exploit the database that web applications use to store and transmit web-based content. These attacks can expose sensitive information such as passwords, account logins and credit card numbers.
Cross-site scripting attacks exploit weaknesses in the code of websites to display untrusted images or text, take over session information, and then redirect users to phishing sites. Reflective XSS also permits an attacker to execute arbitrary code.
Man-in-the-middle attacks occur when a third party intercepts the communication between you and a web server. The attacker could then modify the messages as well as spoof certificates and alter DNS responses, and others. This is a powerful method to alter online activities.