Brute force attacks are one of the more common techniques hackers use to try to gain access to websites. Basically, a brute force attack is an attempt at gaining access by repeatedly trying different password combinations. Hackers tend to use programs for this as they can perform a large amount of attempts in a short period of time. If the attack is successful, your website will be in grave danger.
Effects of An Attack
Once a hacker has gained access to your website, they can have their way if they aren’t caught soon enough. Most commonly, hackers want to gain access to a website to steal data. The stolen data can then be turned around and sold on the black market or to demand a ransom. Another option they have is to just cause disruption. From changing your website to straight up deleting it, or just to slow it down by using all the bandwidth on your hosting plan with updated content, the options are almost limitless. Thankfully, most web hosts have measures in place to stop this.
Stopping a Brute Force Attack
One of the more obvious tactics used to halt a brute force attack is to lock out your account. This stops any logins from the start of the lockout from being validated. However, while this is an effective method, it is not usually the best. A pure lockout can cause even more disruption as the attacker can implement a distributed denial of service (DDOS) causing more, or in some cases all, accounts to be locked. This causes a lot of headaches for your tech department and can deny potential visitors from coming to your website. Instead, using progressive delays allows for the accounts to only be locked for a certain period of time. You still get the benefit of stopping the attack without the risk of a DDOS.
In the end, having a web host that understands the different types of attacks used by hackers and implements the best measures to counteract them is your best line of defense. Web hosts are usually better equipped to handle such attacks and use premier defenses to help keep your website safe.
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