When you think of a compromised website, you might picture a site that has had its appearance changed, perhaps with a shocking political or ideological message. This type of attack is called a defacement, and since it’s easy to spot, it’s commonly associated with compromised websites.

They are indeed common, making up around 18% of malware files. Other symptoms include:

  • Spammy links appearing on your site
  • New pages or files created on the site without your knowledge
  • URLs on your site redirecting to other malicious websites

However, recent data shows that cybercriminals prefer types of malware that discreetly enter a site and stay hidden. Depending on the type of malware, your website might be infected and you may not realise it. A common and stealthy type of malware is a backdoor, which can be used by cybercriminals to enter and re-enter your website at any time. In 2018, 44% of infected sites were found to have at least one backdoor file.

Cybercriminals are generally more successful if their attacks go unnoticed, so they often work under the radar to take advantage of your website’s vulnerabilities. Once they secretly enter your website, they can access your data, steal traffic, deploy phishing schemes, and more.