Website Security

Business Owners Targeted By Bitcoin Hungry Hackers –
$5 Billion In Damages (And Rising) With Ransomware Attacks

The meteoric rise in Bitcoin value may be responsible for a 15x rise in cost of damages due to Ransomware – to an estimated $5 Billion.

According to the Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, Ransomware attacks have been growing by 350% every year.

The recent increases in cyber-attacks may be due to the fact that hackers can hold sensitive data ransom in exchange for Bitcoin.

And because of the anonymous nature of Bitcoin, it is virtually impossible to track and find these hackers.

Why Is Ransomware Growing So Quickly?


1. Business Websites Have Become Valuable… Thus Targeted By Cyber Criminals

Websites have helped businesses grow their customer base and make sales online.

However, this comes at a price – cyber criminals understand they can use these websites for their own nefarious purposes.

Whether that’s to hold sensitive data ransom, or to hack into websites and redirect visitors to less savoury places on the internet – they do it for their own financial gain.

Because the value of such websites have increased, it has become a favoured target for cyber criminals – especially business owners who are more likely to hold valuable information.


2. The “Bots” Are Crawling The Web 24 / 7, Looking For Vulnerabilities In Your Website

Cybercrime attacks are not carried out directly by hackers.

No, the attacks are much less personal – but still cold and calculated.

Blackhat Hackers (also called “Crackers”) have developed software (called “bots”) that automatically crawls the internet – looking for vulnerable websites to hack into.

These bots work tirelessly, 24 days, 7 days a week – looking for vulnerabilities in websites and the software that is installed on them.

If a vulnerability is found, the bot automatically injects malicious code or obtains logins by rapidly guessing different combinations of usernames and passwords.

Because everything is automated, hackers are able to scale their operations at an astounding pace. This is a major reason why ransomware attacks have been able to grow at 350% every year.


3. Businesses Are Using More Software Than Ever – Therefore Have More Vulnerabilities

While the increase in software has cut costs and increased profitability for many businesses, it is also a double-edged sword.

It is especially bad when these software are not kept up-to-date.

More software means more potential vulnerabilities.

The “bots” mentioned above crawl for websites to see if there are outdated plugins or platform versions they can take advantage of.

Each piece of software installed on a website can be used as a potential avenue for bots to find their way in and make malicious changes to the code – often without the website owner’s knowledge.

Even when the hack is discovered and “fixed up,” these bots are programmed to return and attempt to get in again using the same methods.

If the core issue (outdated software and vulnerabilities) aren’t patched up, the bots are able to hack the website again.

Because of such complexities in cyber security, it has been difficult for business owners to keep up with the new hacks and attacks.


4. Hackers Might Make More Money Than Drug Dealers By 2021

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2021, cybercrime will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.

With the rise in value of online business, websites are going to be a major target for hackers globally.

For example, eCommerce in Australia alone is a $32 Billion market.

But it isn’t just eCommerce stores that hackers are after – they’re also going for customer / client lists and any other sensitive data they could hold for ransom.

And unlike the traditional drug trade, Cyber Crime can happen in any part of the world because of the global nature of the internet.

With cyber crime becoming so lucrative, we can expect more criminals to flock to this “industry” – thus increasing the importance of maintaining strong cyber security measures.


5. Sensitive Customer Information Or Business Data Can Be Sold To Spammers… Or Your Competitors

Once your website and / or database gets hacked, this valuable information can be sold to spammers – or even your competition.

Hackers know this and therefore use ransomware to hold this data “hostage.”

The more valuable your website, the more likely you are to be targeted.

And since hackers use bots to automatically look for vulnerabilities, you must be on-guard at all times.

So What Can You Do To Protect Your Website From Cyber Attacks?

There are some basic steps you can take to ensure your website is not easy-prey for bots or scripts.

Tips like using a strong password, keeping regular backups, installing anti-malware software and so forth are good practices.

If you have a WordPress website, you can follow our WordPress Security Guide and ensure you are protected at the fundamental level.

Even if your website isn’t on the WordPress platform, you may still find the general principles useful in developing anti-hacker measures.

Additionally, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to implement these measures as the guide contains step-by-step instructions with screenshots.


Sign Up Below To Get Your WordPress Security Guide:

The guide contains information such as:

  • How to stop hackers from “brute-forcing” their way into your accounts
  • How often you should make backups of your website
  • The free WordPress Plugin that will help you create backups of your website easily – you don’t have to be tech-savvy to do this!
  • How to remove unused plugins that may be used as an avenue for hackers to get into your website and make malicious changes without your knowledge
  • Will show you which WordPress plugins will protect your website from unwanted spammers, hackers and “robots”

It also contains step-by-step instructions to secure your website (with screenshots). The guide was specially developed so that you don’t need to be a tech wizard to protect your website!

Best of all, it’s free!

Just sign up with your email below and we’ll send the WordPress Security Guide straight to your email:

Sign Up Below To Get Your WordPress Security Guide:

Who Is OPMC?

OPMC is a Sydney-based web security specialist who has been in this space for 15 years and running.

During these 15 years, we’ve fixed just about every hack imaginable.

We know that running a business is tough work – we know what it’s like to have several priorities pulling for your time.

The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about the technological aspects of your business.

That’s where we come in.

If you need assistance related to web security, development or web hosting – we can help.

We’re successful business owners ourselves (we run online businesses that are unrelated to web security and development as well!).

If you’d like to learn more about how we be of service to you, please get in touch with us using the Contact Form below.