Different types of cyber attacks have increased by around 600% drastically since the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as attackers have become more sophisticated and efficient.
Cyber attacks can occur for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. The common thread among cybercriminals is that they will look to exploit weaknesses in an organization’s security practices, policies, or technologies.
Throughout this article, we will discuss a number of different types of cyber-attacks and how they can be prevented.
What is a Cyber Attack?
When someone attempts to access an IT system with an unauthorized method for the purpose of theft, extortion, disruption, or other malicious activities, they are described as committing a cyberattack. Often, security incidents occur due to negligence or malice committed by insiders.
While most attacks have an economic motive, some recent attacks have a data destruction motive. An attack can be perpetrated for a number of reasons, from ransom to political activism. However, malicious actors often aim to economically gain from their attacks.
Types of Cyber Attacks
The world today is plagued by many different types of Cyber Security attacks. It is easier to protect our networks and systems against cyberattacks if we know what types of attacks in Cyber Security are available. The following is a comprehensive analysis of the top ten cyber-attacks which can affect individuals or large companies, depending on their size.
- Malware Cyber Attack
In the world of cyberattacks, malware is one of the broadest terms. It refers to any malicious software that is designed to harm a computer system. The malware performs a malicious function within the computer, such as stealing, encrypting, deleting, or monitoring the computer user’s activities. Trojan horses, worms, viruses, and spyware are examples of common malware. In general, malware can steal, encrypts, or deletes data, alter or hijack core computer functions, or track a computer user’s activities without the user’s knowledge. Usually, malware is distributed via internet downloads, physical drives, or USB drives.
- Phishing Cyber Attack
Among the most widespread types of cyber attacks, phishing is one of the most prevalent. The attacker impersonates a known contact in order to send a fake email to the victim. It constitutes a type of social engineering attack. The victim is unaware of this and opens the email, clicking on the malicious link or opening the attachment without realizing it. This allows attackers to gain access to account credentials and confidential information. Phishing can also be used to install malware.
- Password Cyber Attack
Passwords are the most commonly used authentication method for secure information systems, which makes them an attractive target for cybercriminals. The ability to manipulate and control sensitive data and systems can be gained by accessing a person’s password. The methods by which password attackers identify individual passwords include social engineering, hacking password databases, testing network connections to obtain unencrypted passwords, and guessing passwords.
- Man-in-the-Middle Attack
The man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) occurs when an attacker intercepts communication between two parties in an effort to spy on them, steal their personal information or credentials, or perhaps alter their conversation. As most email and chat systems utilize end-to-end encryption these days, MITM attacks are less common, as third parties cannot tamper with data that is transmitted across a network, regardless of the security of the network.
- SQL Injection Attack
Whenever a hacker falsifies a standard SQL query on a database-driven website, a Structured Query Language injection attack occurs. An attacker injects malicious code into a vulnerable website’s search box, revealing sensitive information from the server. A database attacker can thus see, revise, and delete tables in the database. Attackers can also use this to gain administrative rights.
- Denial-of-Service Attack
An attacker who launches a Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack essentially overloads a target server with traffic to disrupt or even bring it down. While most sophisticated firewalls can detect and respond to traditional denial-of-service attacks, a Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack utilizes multiple compromised devices to bombard the target with traffic.
- Insider Threat
The term “insider threat” refers to a threat that comes from within, not from a third party. This may be a member of the organization who is intimately familiar with all aspects of the organization. There is a potential for tremendous damage to be caused by insider threats. Small businesses are not uncommon to be subjected to insider threats since their employees have access to multiple accounts containing sensitive information. Many factors can contribute to this form of attack, including greed, malice, and even carelessness. The dangers posed by insider threats are difficult to forecast and therefore, difficult to combat.
- Zero-Day Exploit
Zero-day exploits typically occur when a vulnerability of a network is newly announced and exploited before a patch can be applied. Zero-day attackers jump at disclosed vulnerabilities in the short window of time where there are no solutions or preventative measures. Therefore, it is essential to constantly monitor, detect, and manage zero-day attacks to prevent them.
- Watering Hole Attack
A particular group, region, or organization is the victim here. The attacker targets a website that the intended group frequently visits in such an attack. Identifying websites by monitoring the group closely or by guesswork is possible. Following the infiltration of these websites by the attackers, the victims’ systems are infected with malware. These attacks target the user’s personal information with malware. Additionally, the hacker may be able to access the infected device remotely.
Types of Cyber Attackers
Different types of cyber attackers perform different types of cyber attacks. Following are some of them:
1. Cyber Criminals
The term “cyber criminals” refers to people who use technology to commit malicious acts on digital systems or networks to steal sensitive information or personal data and generate a profit.
It is known that cybercriminals use underground cybercriminal markets located on the deep web to trade malicious goods and services, such as hacking tools and stolen data. Certain products or services are specialized in cybercriminal underground markets.
Taking its name from the words ‘hacking’ and ‘activism,’ hacktivism involves breaking into systems for political or social reasons by hacking into them. Hacktivists perform acts of hacktivism. The hacktivist aims to gain visibility for his or her cause through actions, including defacing an organization’s website or leaking its information.
3. State-Sponsored Attacker
An attack attributed to a nation (state) is referred to as a State-Sponsored Attack (SSA). State-sponsored attackers perform them.
Identifying and exploiting a vulnerability in national infrastructure, gathering intelligence, and exploiting systems are the primary objectives of these state-sponsored attackers.
Steps To Follow To Avoid Cyber Attacks
Various steps that need to be followed to avoid cyber attacks are:
- Make sure your passwords are secure by changing them frequently and by using alphanumeric passwords that are hard to crack. Keep passwords simple so that you will not forget them. Passwords should not be used more than once.
- Be cautious when opening emails sent by unknown senders. Make sure all emails you receive are free of errors and loopholes.
- Keep a regular backup of your data. Most security professionals recommend having three copies of your data on two different media types and another one off-site (cloud storage). Therefore, even if your system is attacked, you can restore its data by using a recent backup.
- Ensure that you are using a firewall with network security tools such as intrusion detection systems, access control systems, and application security systems.
- Employees should understand cybersecurity principles. It is essential that they understand the types of cyberattacks and how to combat them.
- Multi-factor authentication or two-factor authentication is recommended. Users must provide two different authentication factors to verify their identity with two-factor authentication. A multi-factor authentication system requires you to provide more than two authentication methods besides your username and password. In order to protect your account, this proves to be a crucial step.
- Be sure that your Wi-Fi networks are safe, and avoid using public Wi-Fi connections without using a VPN service when possible.
- Be sure to protect your mobile as well, as mobile devices are also a target for cyber attacks. Be sure to only install apps from legitimate and trustworthy sources and ensure that your device is kept up to date.
Why is This the Best Time To Be a Cybersecurity Expert?
Data security concerns are increasing due to the growing amount of data. Because of this, Cybersecurity jobs are in extremely high demand all over the world. That’s why cybersecurity is the most-sought after job of the 21st century. Companies have been victims of cyber-attacks on a regular basis. There seems to be an increase in the number every day. This means that there will always be a need for professionals who are capable of dealing with these attacks better.
There are a number of career options in Cyber Security that are highly sought after today. Among the fields of Cyber Security, there are many to choose from. In order to enter the world of Cyber Security, it is important to have solid knowledge about the field. When considering Cyber Security as a career option, looking at what the market demands can also be helpful.
So now you might have understood the different types of cyber attacks you should be aware of and the steps you need to follow to avoid cyber attacks. UNext Jigsaw’s Cybersecurity program has a detailed curriculum that will help you learn about the different cyber attacks you should be aware of to get a clear view of them and learn to battle the same.