How do hackers make money from hacked WordPress websites?

The world of hacking has changed a lot. While it used to be just a matter of curiosity for people who wanted to see how far they go when they break into someone's computer, it has become a lucrative occupation. Today it could be called "industry". WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on the web and operates more than 60 million websites. There are two main ways WordPress sites can be hacked: by brute force attempts to break weak passwords, or by uploading malware that can infect your visitors.

You may be surprised to learn that hackers don't always target the content of your WordPress site. In fact, they may not care at all. In this article, we are going to show you why hackers hack WordPress sites and how they can make money from it.

Why is WordPress the target of hackers?

Hackers are not mysterious, unknown beings. They are real people who know how to exploit security holes to make money. They target websites to install malware and steal data, and they use social engineering to gain access to your website through a back door. It is easy for a hacker to hack a WordPress website. By exploiting the vulnerability of the WordPress CMS, a hacker can easily inject malicious code into your website. Once he has successfully injected the malicious code into your website, it will be difficult for you to discover the malicious code.

It's always hard to accept that your website has been hacked, but it's worse when you find out that your website is being made by a hacker. It's not always easy to tell if you've been hacked, and the process of getting your website working again can be a headache.

Hackers can make money from your hacked WordPress website,

for example by selling your password to other hackers or even stealing your WordPress website. Hacking into a WordPress site isn't an easy process. Hackers have to go through several locks to actually get to the server. Once there, there are several things you can do. Hackers can upload a backdoor, install a spam script, or use the site as a server for a botnet. The most dangerous thing, however, is that once you have access to the server, you can use it for a variety of purposes.

What's in it for you?

Some of the most common motives for hacking WordPress sites are:

1: Installing back doors.

The most common way is to install a back door on your server to steal customer data.

2: defacement.

Defacement is the most popular type of hack. The hacker replaces the homepage of the website with a message that usually contains a political or social agenda. The message is often displayed as text on a graphic background, sometimes with the hacker's logo and website address.

3: Spam / SEO content injection.

This example is a little different from the others in that it is not a hack, but rather the result of a security hole in WordPress. The hacker was able to inject spam content into the website and then use it to make money.

4: Creating a spam page

Creating a spam page designed to look like a legitimate WordPress website. The hacked page is then indexed in search engines and can be seen by millions of people.

5: Creating a PHP Mailer

New WordPress sites are hacked every day. Every day these pages are used as spam pages. And every day these hacked sites are used to send spam emails to any people's inboxes.

6: Phishing campaigns

One of the most common ways hackers make money is through phishing. With phishing, you pretend to be a reputable company in order to obtain sensitive information such as user names, passwords, credit card details or even bank account details.

7: Malicious redirects

Malicious redirects are the most common and easiest to fix type of cyber attack. Usually these are scams, but in some cases they are used to take a website offline.

8: Command and control server with a botnet

A command and control server is a computer that can be used to remotely control other computers on a network. It is often used as a central hub to control and manage multiple infected computers, commonly known as a botnet, at the same time.

9: crypto mining

This is a relatively new type of hack that places malware on your website that is secretly mining cryptocurrency.

The hackers are trying to make the system unusable.

They are capable of destroying the important files that they do not want to see. They can take revenge on people who harmed them, or they just want to show that they are smarter than you. Some of them do hack attacks for the glory and credit to claim that they are the best at what they do - write viruses and it gives them a sense of power and control.

Hacking is big business. It is estimated that cyber criminals make up to $ 1 billion a year just from stealing and selling credit card information. Another $ 1 billion is made every year from ransomware and other attacks on the Internet. The average annual profit for a hacker is $ 5,000 per website.

How do hackers make money from your hacked website?

- They could get money for their work by receiving payment for their virus
When you look at the malware that is spreading, most of it is designed to steal money from you, not to steal your identity or read your email.

- You get paid for breaking into a system
Since it is a crime to hack into someone else's website, many hackers are hired by website owners to find and fix vulnerabilities in their websites. That means they can get paid to find security holes in their own websites.

They can steal your money and yours (and users' personal information) (which they can resell)
When you look at the malware that is spreading, most of it is designed to steal you money, not to steal your identity or read your email.

- You can use the destroyed files to extort money from their victim
The hackers may have had access to your WordPress site for quite a while before you even noticed. Without a password on the server, they could have been looting the data on your site for years before you even noticed. If you're not careful, you could find yourself in a situation where you are forced to pay a ransom to the hackers to get your personal information back.


Protect your website. Security measures are important, but additional WordPress security features should be implemented. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for website developers. As a result, the platform attracts a lot of hackers. Website owners must take responsibility for protecting their WordPress sites from viruses.

With our specialized WordPress hosting services , we offer optimal protection against hack attacks.

The protection is based on the following pillars:
- Constant updates of the WordPress system and all components
- Block hack attacks with a firewall and other tools
- Regular scanning for weak points and possible infections with specialized software
- Experienced WordPress experts who can take countermeasures in the event of a hack attack

Interested in a secure WordPress solution?

Martin Häfliger
Your WordPress professional in Basel
Martin Häfliger

+41 (0)61 695 92 22


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