Cyber criminals are on the rise, which means your cyber security measures need to be up to date with the latest safety protocols to avoid cyber attacks.
What Is a Cyber Attack?
A cyber attack is a malicious attempt by an individual or organization to disable computers, steal information, or breach data from another organization’s computer network. Cyber criminals generally perform cyber attacks to obtain confidential security information from the network that financially benefits them.
Types of Attacks in Cyber Security
The most common cyber attack methods used by cyber criminals include:
Malware is an umbrella term for various malicious software such as spyware, viruses, and worms. Malware attack occurs when there’s a weakness in network security, and a user engages with a dangerous link or attachment; these links are used to install malware within your computer and access sensitive data. The most common types of malware include:
- Viruses: Viruses replicate themselves to infect other codes within the system.
- Trojans: Unlike viruses, trojans do not duplicate; however, they develop vulnerabilities from the inside out to enable hackers into the network.
- Worms: Worms don’t attack the host, computer, or network; they are often installed through email attachments and overload the email service to achieve a denial-of-service attack.
- Ransomware: Cyber criminals threaten to delete or publish critical victim network information until a ransom is paid.
- Spyware: A program is installed to collect user information and browsing habits; spyware is generally used for blackmailing purposes.
Phishing attacks involve sending fraudulent emails to network users; these emails often appear to be coming from a reliable source. Although phishing emails appear legitimate, links and attachments within the email are designed to give hackers access to the device to gather personal or company data and information.
Many people believe phishing only occurs through email. However, phishing can also take place through social media and other online communication platforms. Phishers are advanced in social engineering and have the ability to collect information about where you work and what you are interested in; this gives the impression that they have credibility and it convinces you to trust them.
There are several types of phishing attacks that can occur:
- Spear Phishing: This is directed toward a particular company or individual.
- Whaling: This attack focuses on targeting executives and company stakeholders.
- Pharming: This is where hackers capture user credentials through a fake login page.
Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack
Man-in-the-Middle attacks—also known as MitM, middle, or eavesdropping attacks—occur when a hacker steals and manipulates data by interrupting traffic between two parties.
Middle attacks often occur due to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network because attackers can put themselves between a visitor’s device and the network. MitM is difficult to detect because the visitor passes all their information to the hacker without knowing.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack
Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks occur by flooding systems, servers, or networks with traffic to overwhelm its resources and bandwidth. This results in the system being unable to fulfill genuine requests due to overload.
Similar to a DoS attack, a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack overloads the system’s resources through multiple compromised devices. The most common types of DoS and DDoS attacks include teardrop, smurf, and ping-of-death attacks. The goal of these attacks is to pave the way for another attack to enter the computer and network environment.
Server Query Language (SQL) injection—also known as Structured Query Language injection—is when an attacker inputs a malicious code into a server and forces it to disclose confidential information. This type of attack generally involves putting a malicious code into a vulnerable website’s search box. SQL injections can be prevented by using proactive coding practices.
Zero-day Exploit is when a new network is exploited before any security measures are implemented to the system. There is no software to prevent this attack because they occur before network preventative measures exist. To prevent Zero-day Exploit, the network should be constantly monitored and implement protective solutions as soon as possible to secure the network.
Passwords are the biggest targets for cyber criminals because they authenticate access to a secure network. Using an authorized user’s password allows attackers to access critical personal and company data and enable them to manipulate computer and network systems.
There are various methods hackers can use to identify user passwords, such as social engineering, accessing a password database, or using a systemic manner known as brute-force attack. A brute-force attack is a program that tests every possible character and combination of information to guess a user’s password.
Another standard method of password attack is referred to as a dictionary attack. A dictionary attack occurs when a hacker uses a list of common passwords to gain access to a user’s computer and network. Two-factor authentication is helpful to prevent dictionary attacks because it provides an additional layer of security.
Rootkits are installed inside dependable software platforms, and they can gain remote and admin level access to a computer/network system. Attackers use rootkits to steal passwords, user credentials, and confidential data.
Since rootkits hide in reliable software programs, when changes are made in the operating system, the rootkit installs itself in the host, computer, or servers and remains stable until a hacker activates it. Rootkits are commonly activated through email attachments or downloads from vulnerable websites.
Internet of Things (IoT) Attack
Accessibility to the internet is incredibly convenient for a lot of individuals. However, it also poses many risks because accessibility allows attackers to exploit your technology devices and virtual network. Hackers can identify entry points of vulnerable networks and use that to exploit other devices in the network as well.
IoT attacks are becoming more common because access to the internet is becoming more available through the devices we use daily. The best way to prevent cyber attacks through the internet is to secure strong passwords and change them often.
Think Logically About Cyber Attack Prevention
For over 25 years, The Logic Group has been helping industries like yours prevent cyber attacks from hackers. Avoid data breaches and exposed sensitive information by collaborating with The Logic Group for all your cyber security needs. Connect with our team of IT professionals and learn how they can help you maintain and improve your IT infrastructure.