What Are the Odds of Being Hacked?


Doing a little research online, I discovered it’s very hard to determine the actual “odds” that your site will be hacked. Too many variables I suppose.

I think that another way to approach it is to look at how often someone might attempt to hack your site. I’ve dealt with this enough over the last few years to know that the attempts are relentless. If you think your site is not a target, you are wrong!

Most attempts at hacking are done by automatic “bots” that indiscriminately scour the web looking for openings in any site. (Look at the post “Why Would Someone Hack My Site” to understand why.) They don’t care what your site is about or how big it is. If they can find a way in, they’ll open it and do their damage.

As an example let’s use one of my sites:


This site only has the home page. No text . . . nothing but an animated gif. I have it just because I like the domain and maybe someday I, or someone, will find a good use for it.

Most sites will have a log of activity. This log shows all visits and what actions where taken. So I recently took a look at this site’s log. A small section looks something like this (sorry it's blurry, but I assure you it's real geek stuff):codeClip

Out of this log I took a random 3 days. I looked at the IP addresses, these are are series of numbers that can tell us where a “visitor” comes from. I weeded out all the visits from the USA and got the following:

Russia – 1 visit
Thailand – 1 visit
Saudi Arabia – 3 visits
Germany – 3 visits
Ukraine – 14 visits
Brazil – 18 visits
Latvia – 76 visits
France – 96 visits

That’s a total of 212 in three days. I further checked the IPs and all are know for spam or hacking activity. We can’t say for sure that all were hacking attempts but it’s very safe to say at least half were. If we take those numbers that means that there were 106 attempts in a 3 day period to hack into a one page website with no content. I’m sure the actual number is higher.

That is very conservatively, well over one thousand hacking attempts each month.

So if an unknown site, with one page and only a picture received well over 100 hacking attempts in 3 days, what do you think that chances are that your site, or any site is receiving the same? I’d say the odds are pretty close to 100%

Most attempts will never make it in. But with a relentless, ongoing barrage of attempts to hack your site, the odds are that without some protection, many many sites will eventually get hacked and compromised

You don’t want one of them to be your site.