Hijacking Broken Hyperlinks – Cyberthreats

Cyberthreats hiding in plain sight – hijacking hyperlinks 

Have you ever clicked on a link that takes you to a dead webpage or tried to type in your bank’s URL and found yourself on a phishing website?

Link hijacking is a technique that cybercriminals use to direct website visors to malicious pages on the internet. 

As a business owner, you’ll want to ensure that your website is safe from this tactic, but first let’s find out how it works and how it can be avoided

Broken links are like broken windows for cybercrime

Even the smallest gap in your cybersecurity can give hackers the entry point they need to carry out an attack.

Just like the broken window of a building, which can allow burglars to enter more easily, broken links create the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to compromise your company website. 

Here is the typical pattern that this crime tends to follow:

  • Cybercriminals identify a link on your website that leads to a defunct webpage.
  • If the webpage hosting has expired, they may purchase it and populate it with potentially harmful links that visitors will assume are a legitimate part of your website.

The end game of link hijacking is to steal internet traffic and lead it to a site that cannot only carry out malware or ransomware attacks, but could also compromise the credibility of your business.

How many broken links are there on the internet?

You might think that broken links are only an issue for poorly maintained websites, but research has shown that the issue is far more common than that.

Recent research shows that more than 500,000 websites online are phantom domains created  by cybercriminals.

Given the frequency of this problem, it’s essential to check your own site for the presence of broken links without delay and take measures to correct them.

How to fix broken links for added security 

Checking your website for problematic links is easy to achieve with a website scanner or broken link detector.

  • Once you identify links that lead nowhere, you should remove them from the main site or update the link that they redirect to with a secure webpage.
  • Ensure that your redirection service and file hosting providers are above board and offer excellent customer support. 

To avoid impersonation sites with a slight alteration of your URL spelling, you may want to register several domains – with the different variations included in them – so that they can’t fall into the wrong hands.

Keep your business safe online with secure cloud storage

Protecting your business from link hijacking is just one step that forms part of a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. 

Secure cloud storage is the most effective way to keep your data safe offsite and out of the clutches of criminals. Our range of secure backup packages offer peace of mind along with the efficiency of automated encrypted file management.