10 Types of Commonly Used Cyber Attacks
10 Types of Commonly Used Cyber Attacks
Talking about the types of cyber attacks commonly used by hackers is endless. There are many types or methods used by these cybercriminals to break into the security of a system by force. In 2016, 758 million malicious attacks occurred according to KasperskyLab, (an attack is launched every 40 seconds) and there is no doubt that 2019 will be record breaking. In 2017, ransomware came into the spotlight with the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks which temporarily paralyzed many large companies and organizations.
There are almost as many types of cyber attacks as there are hackers. From personal information of individuals to confidential industrial product data, the field is vast and the consequences can be manifold such as impersonation, fraudulent use of banking data, extortion, ransom demands, blackouts, etc. Often, it is exploits of system and network vulnerabilities that are responsible for cyber attacks, but these can often be avoided. The following is an explanation of cyber attacks and the Commonly Used Types of Cyber Attacks.
What Is a Cyber Attack?
Cyberattacks are the intentional exploitation of computer systems, networks and technology-dependent companies. These attacks use malicious code to modify computer code, data, or logic. Leading to destructive consequences that can compromise your data and spread cyber crimes such as information and identity theft. Cyber attack is also known as Computer Network Attack (CNA).
Commonly Used Types of Cyber Attacks
Phishing is a type of social engineering that is typically used to steal user data such as credit card numbers and login credentials. It occurs when an attacker, posing as a trusted individual, tricks victims into opening text messages, emails, or instant messages.
Victims are then tricked into opening malicious links that can cause system freezes as part of a ransomware attack, reveal sensitive information, or install malware. This violation can have disastrous results. For an individual, this includes identity theft, theft of funds, or unauthorized purchases.
Phishing is often used to gain a foothold in government or corporate networks as part of more significant plots such as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). In such cases, employees are compromised to gain privileged access to secure data, distribute malware in closed environments, and bypass security parameters.
Malware is code created to surreptitiously affect compromised computer systems without user consent. This broad definition includes many specific types of malware such as spyware, ransomware, command, and control.
Many well-known business people and criminals have been involved and discovered the spread of malware. Malware differs from other software in that it can spread across networks, cause alterations and damage, remain undetected, and take hold in infected systems. It can destroy networks and bring machine performance to its knees.
Ransomware blocks access to victim data, usually deleting it when a ransom is paid. There is no guarantee that paying the ransom will regain access to the data. Ransomware is often carried out via Trojans that deliver payloads disguised as legitimate files.
Worms differ from viruses in that they do not attach to a hosts file, but are self-contained programs that spread across networks and computers. Worms usually spread via email attachments, opening the attachment will activate the worm program. Worm exploits usually involve the worm sending a copy of itself to every contact on the infected computer's email address. In addition to carrying out malicious activity, worms spreading across the internet and redundant email servers can result in denial of service attacks against nodes on a network.
5. Drive-by Attack
Drive-by attacks are a common method of spreading malware. Cyber attackers look for insecure websites and embed malicious scripts into PHP or HTTP on one of the pages. These scripts can install malware onto computers visiting this website or become an IFRAME that redirects the victim's browser to a site controlled by the attacker.
In most cases these scripts are obfuscated, and this makes the code complex for security researchers to analyze. These attacks are known as drive-by as they do not require any action on the victim's part except visiting the compromised website. When they visit a compromised site, they are automatically and silently infected if their computer is vulnerable to malware, especially if they haven't applied security updates to their applications.
6. Trojan Horses
Trojans are malicious software programs that misrepresent themselves to appear useful. They spread by looking like routine software and enticing victims to install it. Trojans are considered one of the most dangerous types of malware, as they are often designed to steal financial information.
7. SQL Injections
SQL Injection, also known as SQLI, is a type of attack that uses malicious code to manipulate a backend database to access information that is not intended to be displayed. This may include many items including personal customer details, user lists, or sensitive company data.
SQLI can have an adverse effect on business. A successful SQLI attack can lead to deletion of entire tables, display of unauthorized user lists, and in some cases, the attacker can gain administrative access to the database. This can be very detrimental to business.
When calculating the possible costs of SQLI, you must consider the loss of customer trust if personal information such as addresses, credit card details and telephone numbers are stolen. Although SQLI can be used to attack any SQL database, perpetrators often target websites.
8. Cross Site Scripting
Cross Site Scripting (XSS) is a type of injection breach where an attacker injects malicious scripts into the content of a reputable website. It occurs when a dubious source is allowed to embed its own code into a web application, and the malicious code is bundled together with dynamic content which is then sent to the victim's browser.
9. Denial of Service (DDoS)
Denial Of Service (DDoS) aims to shut down a network or service, causing it to be inaccessible to its intended users. Attacks achieve this mission by flooding the target with traffic or flooding it with information that triggers an accident. In both situations, DoS attacks deny legitimate users such as employees, account holders, and members the resources or services they expect.
DDoS attacks are often targeted at the web servers of high-profile organizations such as trade and government organizations, media companies, commerce, and banking. While these attacks do not result in the loss or theft of critical information or other assets, they can cost victims a significant amount of money and time to mitigate. DDoS is often used in combination to distract from other network attacks.
10. Brute Force
A Brute Force attack is a network attack in which an attacker attempts to break into a user's account by systematically checking and trying all possible passwords until finding the right one. The simplest method of attack is through the front door as you must have a way in. If you have the required credentials, you can get entries as you normally would without creating suspicious logs, requiring unpatched entries, or tripping over IDS signatures. If you have system credentials, your life is even simplified because attackers don't have this luxury.
The term brute-force means beating the system through repetition. When cracking passwords, brute force requires dictionary software that combines dictionary words with thousands of different variations. This is a slower and inefficient process. These attacks start with simple letters like “a” and then move to full words like “snoop,” or “snoopy.”
A brute-force dictionary attack can make 100 to 1000 attempts per minute. After hours or days, a brute-force attack can finally crack any password. Brute force attacks reiterate the importance of password best practices, especially on critical resources such as network switches, routers and servers.
Those were some types of cybersecurity attacks that hackers use to disrupt and harm information systems. In order for you to put up a good defense mechanism, you need to understand the offense. This article shows you that an attacker has many choices when choosing an attack to compromise and disrupt an information system.
You also have to be proactive in maintaining and securing your network. Maintain an updated antivirus database, keep your passwords strong, and use a low-privilege IT environment model to protect yourself from cyber-attacks.
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