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Malicious Redirect: How Can It Harm Your Website?

November 8, 2017

Nick Bell

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Many website owners are already familiar with the term “redirect”, which is an option used to send an old domain or similarly named domain to a particular website. Quick and useful, this task takes less than a minute to set up with your hosting provider. However, for similar reasons it is also an easy way in which hackers can exploit a website.

In fact, redirect is an extremely common black hat method that can be found throughout the online world: using a snippet of programming code, hackers can divert visitors who happen to click on a particular section of your website. Having arrived safely on your site, visitors are then taken to malware, phishing or alternative advert websites where they are at risk of having their personal information extracted. This tactic can be used in such a way that website owners may not even be able to detect the occurrence.

For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the importance of cyber security. Below are some of the ways in which malicious redirect can affect your website.

 

Infected files and cross contamination

Once access is gained to the site, hackers can easily insert malicious code to files in a content management system. Furthermore, the infection of these files can then spread to other files and even websites within the same server.

 

Loss of traffic (and visitors)

It should go without saying that your website will lose traffic as a result of a redirect in addition to causing regular readers to lose trust in the security of your website upon noticing such behaviour. In many ways, the latter is arguably more important, given that loyal customers are an integral part of any website’s success.

 

Lost time and tested patience

In recent years, hackers have started to utilise abandoned plugins and files to infiltrate website security. Needless to say, with so many files to examine, it can be a challenge locating these malicious attempts in a content management system.

 

Google and SEO

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have a zero tolerance policy for black hat methods and actively penalise websites with malicious or suspicious activity. You can expect your rankings to drop in light of these activities on your website. Given the time it can take to reverse this loss of trust with a search engine, this alone is enough reason to ensure that your website is protected against potential cyber attackers.

 

Like any malware, malicious redirect can take you by surprise and compromise the reputation of your website. Get ahead of potential hackers by reconsidering the general security of your site before it’s too late!

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