Most common server threats you need to know about

Published by MLH_sharmin on

Websites are hosted on the web servers to ensure their online availability.

Web servers are usually computers running an operating system and various applications connected to the back-end database. All the systems can lead the server to an attack if there any vulnerability in the applications, database, operating system or the network.

At the point when invaders are attempting to attack the servers, they will basically draw upon the viable hacking techniques such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), SQL injection, Cross-site scripting (XSS) and so many. Servers are not properly maintained always at the risk of cyber attacks. A complete study needs to have a clear knowledge about the common web application threats so as to prevent them temporarily. Let’s see the most common security attack types and the methods of stifling them.

Types of web server attacks and the ways of preventing them

DDoS attack

It is one of the most popular ways of attacking web servers attempting maliciously to make a service unavailable to the users by interrupting or suspending the services of its hosting server. A server usually refuses to serve the users in responding to their request when it’s attacked by DDoS. Your server will get a suspicious look if exceeds the normal traffic limit by flooding many illegitimate user requests that may cause crash and hindering the visitors to have access to users.

What to do?

DDoS is a primary level attack usually used to down your server. It is very important to have up-to-date knowledge of your traffic tendency in order to identify your problem instantly. It can be prevented by catching it early with monitoring traffic, getting more bandwidth, using a Content Distribution Network (CDN). There are a few things you can do after being attacked. Clear your server logs to free up more space and set up rate limiting, call your hosting provider to filter out all the illegitimate traffic by letting normal requests through.

SQL injection

SQL injection is the most comprehensive and perilous attack. It is a hacking method where hackers gain unauthorized access to all sensitive information and data like customer information, personal data, trade secret and so many of a database through vulnerable web applications. This is actually for the vulnerability of web security that allows the attacker to execute all the functionalities including add, modify or delete records of a database. Websites or web applications that use an SQL database such as MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or others can be affected by this injection attack.

What to do?

There are some effective ways to prevent SQL attacks. Hackers usually practice to find out the vulnerable points of a website or web application by following tutorials relevant. By practicing the same methods, you can also reveal the ways of preventing them. Hackers generally apply some scripts in input forms as the key-part of hacking. Simply by using some functionalities such as mysqli-real-escape-string(), htmlentities(), htmlspecialchars(), you can validate the input forms that won’t allow them to apply any script in. Besides, web application firewalls can be effective security solutions. (modSecurity, cloudflare)

Cross-site Scripting (XSS)

It’s just like SQL injection attack used to harm website users and steal their cookies. Hackers can push script in the input form and change any information of your database. Avowedly, by using coding vulnerability of your website, they can easily get unauthorized access of the database including all credentials. Hackers with good JavaScript and HTML knowledge usually perform some malicious actions by injecting malicious scripts in the input form. Non-persistent XSS, persistent XSS, and DOM-based XSS are common XSS techniques.

What to do?

There is not really a possibility of being completely secured.  By taking a couple of measures we can diminish the likelihood of becoming a victim of XSS attack.

When you are a website owner or a web developer, you have to be more professional and responsible in order to create a secure application that will protect data of valid users. Developers should follow a secure development lifecycle (SDL) to scan all security-related design and coding vulnerabilities and protect them with a Web application firewall to prevent XSS attacks.


There are many ways you can prevent web servers from being attacked. To ensure perfect server security, it needs to have complete knowledge about the server regarding its vulnerability and several attacks. Update web servers regularly and avoid using the default configuration. Use all the latest and updated version of OS, software and anti-virus. Block unnecessary protocols and services.

In this article, we have reviewed the most common server attacks hackers usually do by adapting some malicious techniques in order to gain unauthorized access to a website’s sensitive data and credentials. So, it’s very important to prevent their malicious functions from executing as it involves your customers and reputation that can be damaged freely by different attacks. To keep your website and hosting away from hacking, in addition to the inevitable measures, a good web hosting service provider will have to be selected. MyLightHost is a global provider of web hosting services offering required-level security for its customers.

Categories: Security


This is Sharmin Islam here, a marketing officer at MyLightHost including the responsibilities of creating and developing new innovative ways to communicate the company message to their existing customers. Contributing to the annual sales and marketing plan.


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