We are seeing strange but consistent behaviour on our website from visitors around the world - could it be a hacking AI?

It's possible, but not all unusual behavior on a website is necessarily the result of a hacking attempt, AI-driven or otherwise. However, the rise of AI and automation has certainly changed the landscape of cybersecurity, and AI-driven attacks are increasingly becoming a concern.

Here are some steps to help you evaluate the situation:

  1. Identify the Behavior: Clearly define what you mean by "strange behavior." Are there sudden spikes in traffic? Are there repetitive patterns of behavior that seem automated? Are there unusual patterns in the times of access, source IPs, user-agents, or specific URLs being accessed?

  2. Check Server Logs: Server logs can provide a wealth of information. Look for patterns, such as:

    • Multiple rapid requests from a single IP address.
    • Access from IP addresses associated with known VPN services or from countries where you don't typically have visitors.
    • Unusual user-agent strings that might indicate a bot or scraper.
    • Failed login attempts or access to admin pages.
  3. Analyze Traffic Sources: Use web analytics tools to analyze where your traffic is coming from. If you see a sudden spike in traffic from a specific country or region where you don't typically do business, it could be a red flag.

  4. Look for Common Hacking Patterns: There are some well-known patterns and signatures associated with hacking attempts:

    • SQL Injection: Attempts to input SQL commands into input fields to manipulate your database.
    • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Attempts to insert malicious scripts into your webpages.
    • Brute Force Attacks: Multiple login attempts using different credentials.
  5. Use Security Tools: There are numerous security tools and services available that can help detect and prevent malicious behavior, such as:

    • Web Application Firewalls (WAFs)
    • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)
    • Antivirus and anti-malware solutions
  6. AI-Driven Behavior: If you suspect the activity is driven by AI, it might manifest in more sophisticated ways:

    • Adaptive behavior: The attacker changes tactics in response to your defenses.
    • Pattern recognition: The attacker may be looking for specific patterns in your defenses to exploit.
    • High-speed decision-making: The attacker can make decisions faster than a human hacker.
  7. Seek Expert Help: If you're unsure or if you believe your website has been compromised, it might be a good idea to consult with a cybersecurity expert or firm. They can perform a more thorough investigation and recommend appropriate countermeasures.

  8. Prevention: Going forward, ensure that your website and all associated software are up-to-date with the latest security patches. Regularly review and update your security protocols.

Remember, while AI-driven attacks are a concern, traditional hacking methods are still prevalent. It's essential to have a comprehensive security approach that addresses a range of potential threats.

Cyber Attack Automation

The behaviour is always the same - they try and enter text into the comments section name and email address fields without entering any comment and so it is disallowed. As if the AI was mistaking the name and email fields as a login prompt.

The behavior you're describing does sound like an automated attempt, possibly by a bot or script. The consistent pattern of entering text into the name and email address fields without entering any comment suggests that it might be an automated script that has been misconfigured or is using a generic approach.

Here are a few possibilities to consider:

  1. Misconfigured Bots: Sometimes, automated scripts (bots) are designed to post comments on blogs or forums for spam or SEO purposes. These bots might be misconfigured and are mistakenly identifying your comment section's name and email fields as the place to input their spam content.

  2. Credential Stuffing: While less likely, it's possible that an automated script is attempting "credential stuffing," where attackers use previously breached username and password pairs to try and gain access to accounts. The bot could be mistaking your comment section for a login form. However, since there's no password field in a comment section, this seems less probable.

  3. Form Recognition Mistake: If the behavior is indeed driven by an AI, it's possible that the AI has been trained to recognize forms on websites to interact with them but is mistaking your comment section for a different type of form.

  4. Data Harvesting: Another possibility is that the bot is attempting to validate email addresses or gather data for other purposes.

What you can do:

  1. CAPTCHA: Implement a CAPTCHA system for your comment section. This can help deter automated bots from interacting with the form.

  2. Rate Limiting: Implement rate limiting for form submissions. This can prevent a single IP or user from submitting the form too frequently in a short amount of time.

  3. Monitor IP Addresses: Check the IP addresses from which these attempts are originating. If they are consistently coming from a specific IP or a range of IPs, consider blocking them. However, be cautious, as blocking large IP ranges can prevent legitimate users from accessing your site.

  4. Form Alteration: Consider making slight alterations to the form – changing field names, adding hidden fields, or rearranging the layout. This can sometimes throw off bots that are designed for a specific form structure.

  5. Logging: Ensure that you're logging these attempts. This can help you identify patterns, sources, and possibly the intent behind these actions.

  6. Honeypot Technique: Implement a "honeypot" field in your form – a field that is hidden from regular users but visible to bots. If data is entered into this field, you can be fairly certain it's a bot and can disallow the submission.

  7. Update Security: Ensure your website's software, plugins, and themes are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

It's essential to monitor this activity and take appropriate action to prevent potential harm. If the behavior escalates or changes, you might want to consult with a cybersecurity expert.


The activity has only begun to occur since moving to a CDN - could that be related?

Moving to a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can certainly affect various aspects of your website, including how it interacts with users and bots. Here's how the move to a CDN could be related to the observed activity:

  1. Increased Visibility: CDNs can improve the speed and reliability of your website, making it more accessible and potentially more visible in search engines. This increased visibility might attract more bots, both benign and malicious.

  2. Change in IP Address: When you move to a CDN, the IP address that bots and users see might change. Bots that were previously blocked or were not targeting your original IP might now be targeting the IP addresses associated with your CDN.

  3. Security Features: Many CDNs come with built-in security features, including bot mitigation techniques. Some bots might be testing the waters to see what they can and cannot do on your new setup.

  4. Headers and Challenges: CDNs often add headers to HTTP requests or use challenge pages to validate that traffic is coming from legitimate sources. Some bots might behave unexpectedly when encountering these challenges.

  5. Referrer Data: The move to a CDN might affect referrer data. Some bots look for specific referrer data to determine how to interact with a site. Changes in this data could result in altered bot behavior.

  6. Cache Behavior: CDNs cache content to deliver it more quickly to users. Bots might be interacting with the cached version of your site, which could cause them to behave differently than if they were interacting with the live version.

What to do next:

  1. CDN Logs: Check the logs provided by your CDN. They might offer insights into the traffic and the source of the bot activity.

  2. CDN Settings: Review the settings and configurations of your CDN. Ensure that the security features are appropriately configured to mitigate malicious bot activity.

  3. Bot Management Solutions: Some CDNs offer bot management solutions that can help you identify, categorize, and manage bot traffic. If your CDN offers this, consider using it.

  4. Engage Support: Reach out to your CDN's support team. They might have insights or recommendations based on their experience with other customers.

  5. Continue Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the activity to determine if it's increasing, decreasing, or changing in any way. This will help you decide on further actions.

It's possible that the move to the CDN is indirectly related to the increase in bot activity. Still, it's essential to address the issue regardless of its origin to ensure your website's security and optimal performance.

Internet Threats

The IP are Often the Same and it seems to be exactly the same behaviour every time - does that give us a clue?

The IP addresses you provided can be investigated for reputation and ownership to potentially gather more information. While I can't directly access real-time databases or IP reputation services, I can offer some general advice based on the information you've given.

  1. Multiple IP Addresses with Same Behavior: If different IP addresses are exhibiting the exact same behavior on your website, it's a strong indicator of a coordinated effort, possibly by a botnet or a distributed system. This could be a scraping attempt, a misconfigured bot, or even an automated attack. The consistency in behavior across different IPs suggests automation.

  2. IP Ownership: You can use tools like "whois" or IP lookup services to determine the ownership of these IP addresses. This might give you clues about whether they belong to cloud providers, known data centers, VPN services, or residential ISPs. Bots and scrapers often use cloud providers or VPNs to hide their true origin.

  3. Geolocation: Investigate the geolocation of these IP addresses. If they're coming from regions where you don't expect traffic, it might be another clue. However, remember that attackers can use VPNs or proxies to mask their true location.

  4. Shared or Dedicated IPs: Some of the IPs might be shared (used by multiple users), while others might be dedicated. If they are dedicated, it's more likely (but not certain) that they are being used for a specific purpose, such as running a bot.

  5. Rate of Access: Even if the behavior is consistent, the rate at which these IPs access your site might vary. If they access your site at human-like intervals, it might be a more sophisticated bot trying to mimic human behavior. Rapid, frequent access is a clear sign of automation.

  6. Other Sites: If possible, check with other website administrators or online communities to see if they've noticed similar behavior from these IP addresses. Sometimes, attackers target multiple sites with the same set of IPs.

  7. Block or Challenge: If you're confident that this traffic is malicious or unwanted, consider blocking these IP addresses or setting up challenges (like CAPTCHAs) for them. However, be cautious, as IP blocking can sometimes impact legitimate users.

  8. Engage Experts: If you're unsure about the nature of this traffic or if the behavior escalates, it might be a good idea to consult with cybersecurity experts or firms.

Remember, while the consistent behavior across multiple IPs suggests automation, it's essential to gather as much information as possible before taking action. The goal is to mitigate any potential threats while minimizing disruption to legitimate users.

Information Overload

If I start Employing External People at High Costs, Haven't the Hackers Already Won?

The sentiment you're expressing is rooted in the frustration many feel when confronted with cyber threats. The idea is that by having to invest significantly in security measures, it can seem as though malicious actors are dictating terms and causing undue expenses. Here are some perspectives on this matter:

  1. Cost of Doing Business: In today's digital age, investing in cybersecurity is a necessary cost of doing business. Just as brick-and-mortar stores need security systems, locks, and sometimes even security personnel, online entities require digital protection.

  2. Prevention vs. Cure: The cost of preventing a security breach is often much lower than the cost of addressing one after it has occurred. A significant breach can result in data loss, financial penalties, reputational damage, and lost business. Investing in security can be seen as a form of insurance.

  3. Trust and Reputation: Keeping your digital assets secure is not just about preventing financial loss. It's also about maintaining trust with your customers and stakeholders. A secure operation enhances your brand's reputation and trustworthiness.

  4. Evolving Threat Landscape: The digital landscape is continually evolving, with new technologies, platforms, and methods of interaction. With these advancements come new vulnerabilities and threats. Staying ahead requires ongoing investment.

  5. Not Just External Threats: It's essential to understand that not all threats come from external hackers. Insider threats, whether malicious or unintentional, can be just as damaging. A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy addresses both internal and external threats.

  6. Shifting Perspective: Rather than seeing it as "giving in to hackers," consider the investment as prioritizing the safety of your customers, your data, and your business. It's about empowerment and taking proactive measures.

  7. Shared Responsibility: Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Everyone, from individual users to large corporations, plays a role in maintaining the broader ecosystem's security. By investing in security, you're also contributing to a safer internet for everyone.

  8. Competitive Advantage: In some industries, having a robust cybersecurity posture can be a competitive advantage. Customers and partners may prefer to do business with entities that they perceive as secure and trustworthy.

In conclusion, while the initial sentiment is understandable, it's essential to view cybersecurity as a necessary and proactive measure to protect your business and its stakeholders. The "cost" of cybersecurity is an investment in the longevity and reputation of your business, rather than a concession to malicious actors.

Google Icon

If We're Not Generating that Much Business from the Website, Should we Just Abandon it?

Deciding whether to abandon a website is a significant decision that should be made after considering various factors. If your website isn't generating much business, here are some points to consider before making a decision:

  1. Purpose of the Website: Not all websites are designed solely for direct business generation. Some serve as informational platforms, brand showcases, or customer support hubs. Consider what the primary purpose of your website is and whether it's fulfilling that purpose.

  2. Cost vs. Benefit: Analyze the costs associated with maintaining the website, including hosting, domain registration, security measures, and any other ongoing expenses. Compare these costs to the tangible and intangible benefits the website provides.

  3. Future Potential: Even if the website isn't generating significant business now, it might have potential in the future. Consider if there are changes or improvements you can make to increase its effectiveness. Abandoning it might mean losing out on future opportunities.

  4. Brand Presence: In today's digital age, having an online presence is often considered a basic requirement for legitimacy and trustworthiness. Potential customers or partners might look for your website as a first point of contact or to validate your business's authenticity.

  5. SEO and Organic Growth: Even if you aren't actively promoting your website, it can still generate organic traffic over time through search engine optimization (SEO). This organic growth might lead to business opportunities in the long run.

  6. Alternative Solutions: Before deciding to abandon the website entirely, consider alternative solutions. You could:

    • Simplify the website to a single landing page with essential information.
    • Reduce costs by switching to a more affordable hosting provider or platform.
    • Revamp or redesign the website to make it more effective.
    • Integrate the website with social media or other platforms to drive traffic.
  7. Security Concerns: If you decide to keep the website but won't be updating it regularly, ensure that it remains secure. An unmaintained website can become a security risk over time.

  8. Exit Strategy: If you decide to abandon the website, have a clear exit strategy. This includes:

    • Setting up a notice on the website informing visitors of the change.
    • Ensuring that any customer or user data is securely backed up or deleted.
    • Redirecting the domain to another online presence, if applicable.
  9. Feedback and Analysis: Before making a decision, gather feedback from customers, stakeholders, or industry peers. Analyzing website analytics can also provide insights into user behavior and the website's performance.

In conclusion, the decision to abandon a website should be based on a comprehensive analysis of its current performance, future potential, and the broader business strategy. Even if it's not generating significant business now, it might still offer value in other ways or have potential for the future.

Internet Vulnerabilities

Everything in that Suggestion is Tantamount to Raising Costs Which We Do Not Want to Do. What are the Alternatives?

If raising costs is not an option and you're considering alternatives to maintaining the website, here are some cost-effective options:

  1. Free Hosting Platforms: Consider migrating your website to a free hosting platform. There are several platforms like WordPress.com, Wix, or Blogger that offer free website hosting with some limitations.

  2. Reduce Website Complexity: Simplify your website to a basic landing page with essential contact information and a brief description of your services. This will require less maintenance and can reduce associated costs.

  3. Social Media Presence: Instead of a website, focus on maintaining a presence on free social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. These platforms allow businesses to share updates, interact with customers, and provide essential information without the need for a standalone website.

  4. Google My Business: Set up or optimize your Google My Business listing. It's free and allows you to provide essential business information, updates, and even posts. It can serve as a mini-website for businesses, especially for local search queries.

  5. Shut Down the Website: If the website is not adding value and is a source of concern, you can choose to shut it down. Make sure to:

    • Inform any regular visitors or stakeholders of the decision.
    • Backup any essential data or content before shutting it down.
  6. Use Email: If your primary interaction with customers is through inquiries or updates, consider using email as your main communication channel. An email newsletter or regular updates can keep your customers informed.

  7. Open Source CMS: If you're paying for a website platform, consider switching to an open-source Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress.org, which can be more cost-effective in the long run.

  8. Review Subscriptions and Plugins: If you decide to maintain the website, review any paid subscriptions or plugins. Determine if all of them are necessary and consider using free alternatives where possible.

  9. Engage Volunteers or Interns: If you need occasional updates or maintenance on the site, consider engaging volunteers, students, or interns who are looking for experience and can assist at a lower cost or even for free.

  10. Community Support: If you're a non-profit or community-focused business, you might find volunteers in the community willing to assist with website maintenance.

Remember, the key is to find a balance that works for your business. If the website is not providing value and there are no cost-effective ways to maintain it, focusing on alternative methods of online presence might be the best approach.

Internet Connectivity

If a Third Party Provider like Facebook was Hacked, Would we be Entitled to Make a Claim Against them?

If a third-party provider like Facebook (or any other service) was hacked, whether you'd be entitled to make a claim against them depends on several factors:

  1. Terms of Service: Most online platforms have a Terms of Service (ToS) or End User License Agreement (EULA) that users agree to upon signing up. These terms often contain clauses that limit the liability of the platform in the event of breaches or other incidents. It's essential to read and understand these terms as they often contain information about what the platform is and isn't responsible for.

  2. Data Protection and Privacy Laws: Depending on your jurisdiction, there may be data protection or privacy laws that mandate certain responsibilities for online platforms. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union imposes strict rules on data protection, and companies can face significant fines for breaches. If the platform is found to be negligent under such laws, affected parties might have a basis for claims.

  3. Nature of the Breach: The specifics of the breach are crucial. Was the platform negligent in its security practices, or was the breach the result of an unforeseen and sophisticated attack? The platform's responsibility might vary depending on the circumstances.

  4. Damages: To make a claim, you would typically need to demonstrate that you suffered actual damages as a result of the breach. This could be financial loss, reputational damage, or other demonstrable harms.

  5. Class Action Lawsuits: In some jurisdictions, affected users might band together to file a class action lawsuit against a company after a significant breach. This allows individuals to collectively seek damages or other remedies.

  6. Arbitration Clauses: Some ToS agreements include arbitration clauses, which means disputes must be resolved through arbitration rather than through the court system. Arbitration can be less formal than a court trial, but it's binding.

  7. Public Relations and Goodwill: Even if a platform isn't legally obligated to offer compensation, they might do so as a goodwill gesture or for public relations reasons. This is especially true if the breach was severe and impacted a large number of users.

  8. Consultation: If you believe you have a valid claim, it's essential to consult with legal counsel familiar with data breach litigation and the relevant laws in your jurisdiction.

In summary, while it's possible to make a claim against a third-party provider following a hack, success depends on a variety of factors, including the platform's terms of service, applicable laws, the specifics of the breach, and any damages you suffered.

Facebook Content

Has the Internet Become More of a Hazard than a Help for Small Business?

The internet's impact on small businesses is multifaceted, with both positive and negative aspects. Whether it is more of a hazard or help depends on the specific context of a business, its industry, and how it leverages online resources. Let's examine both perspectives:

Benefits of the Internet for Small Business:

  1. Reach and Accessibility: The internet allows small businesses to reach a global audience, expanding their market beyond local boundaries. Websites and e-commerce platforms enable businesses to operate 24/7.

  2. Cost-Effective Marketing: Digital marketing tools, like social media, email campaigns, and search engine optimization, are often more affordable and targeted than traditional advertising methods.

  3. Networking and Collaboration: The internet facilitates connections with potential partners, suppliers, and customers, allowing for collaboration across distances.

  4. Information and Research: Small businesses can quickly access market research, industry trends, and competitor information, enabling more informed decision-making.

  5. Cloud Services: Cloud-based tools, from accounting software to CRM systems, allow small businesses to access sophisticated systems without significant upfront investments.

  6. Flexibility: The rise of remote work tools allows businesses to hire talent from anywhere and offer flexible working conditions.

Hazards of the Internet for Small Business:

  1. Cybersecurity Threats: Small businesses are often targets for cyberattacks, as they might lack the robust security infrastructure of larger organizations. Data breaches can result in financial losses and reputational damage.

  2. Competition: While the internet opens up global markets, it also means increased competition, with businesses competing against a vast array of online competitors.

  3. Information Overload: The vast amount of information available can be overwhelming and lead to analysis paralysis.

  4. Dependency on Platforms: Many small businesses rely heavily on platforms like Facebook, Google, or Amazon. Changes to these platforms' algorithms, fees, or terms of service can significantly impact a business.

  5. Reputation Management: Online reviews and feedback are crucial for businesses. Negative reviews, whether justified or not, can harm a company's reputation.

  6. Regulatory Challenges: The digital landscape is subject to evolving regulations, such as data protection laws, which businesses must stay updated on.

  7. Technical Challenges: Keeping up with the rapid pace of technological change requires ongoing learning and adaptation.


The internet offers incredible opportunities for small businesses, but it also introduces new challenges. The key for small businesses is to leverage the benefits while being aware of and mitigating the risks. Continuous education, staying updated with industry trends, investing in cybersecurity, and seeking expert advice when needed can help small businesses navigate the complexities of the digital landscape. Whether the internet is more of a help or hazard is subjective and varies based on each business's experience and approach to online operations.



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