Why are hackers interested in your website?

Did you know, that people are trying to break into your WordPress website basically all the time? This comes as a shock to some – I’ve seen a few anxious requests for guidance from people who read their logs, and discovered that attacks were going on. WordPress now runs around a quarter of all websites on the Internet. As such, it’s an attractive target for attackers – they can build tools which have a huge number of potential targets. But, why do they want to do this anyway? Motives vary – there are indeed plenty of people who think that destroying things is fun. However, the main motive is a predictable one: profit. There’s money to be made. This at first seems surprising – where’s the money to be made in my little blog, someone asks? After all, I don’t make any money from it myself – how can they? Three main ways… 1. Computing power, “free” and anonymous It’s not your website itself that the average attacker wants – they want the computer power of the webserver that it’s running on. They want the free electricity. This can be used to perform complex computations such as those used to “mine” digital currencies like Bitcoin – or simply to hide the hacker’s identity, whilst he uses a server that is not linked to his name, to perform other tasks. 2. Spam, spam, spam spam… That computing power can also be used to churn out zillions of spam emails – again, for free (to the attacker), and in a way that’s hard to trace, since the emails will come from your server, not the attacker’s own computers. Since emails are quick and easy to send, often [...]