Cyber attacks have become more and more common over the years, with hackers targeting individuals, businesses, and governments alike. Knowing the most common cyber attacks can help you identify potential threats and take steps to protect yourself. In this article, we will discuss the most common cyber attacks that you should be aware of, including phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, DDoS attacks, and more.
What Is a Cyber Attack?
A cyber attack is an attempt by cybercriminals, hackers, or other digital rivals to gain access to a computer network or system, typically with the intent of modifying, stealing, destroying, or exposing data.
Cyberattacks can target anyone, from individual users to businesses and even governments. When hackers attack businesses or other organisations. Their goal is usually to get access to sensitive and important firm resources. Such as intellectual property (IP), customer data, or payment information.
10 Most Common Cyber Attacks
Malware is a type of computer software that can carry out a range of malicious actions. Some malware strains are designed to gain persistent network access. While others are designed to spy on the user in order to steal credentials or other valuable data, and still others are just designed to cause disruption.
Some malware is intended to extort the victim in some way. The most well-known type of malware is ransomware. Which encrypts the victim’s files and then demands a ransom payment in order to obtain the decryption key.
Types Of Malware
|In a ransomware attack, an adversary encrypts the victim’s data and demands money in exchange for giving the decryption key. Phishing emails that contain malicious URLs are frequently used to initiate ransomware attacks. But unpatched vulnerabilities and incorrectly configured policies are also employed.
|A sort of harmful behaviour known as “fileless malware” use native, legitimate tools that are already present in a system to carry out a cyberattack. Fileless malware is more difficult to detect than regular malware since it doesn’t require an attacker to install any code on a target’s system.
|Spyware is a kind of unwanted, malicious software that invades a computer or other device and records data about a user’s web usage without that user’s knowledge or permission.
|Adware is a sort of spyware that monitors a user’s internet activities to decide which advertisements to display to them. Although adware is not inherently malicious. It affects a user’s device’s performance and lowers their overall user experience.
|Malware known as trojans often comes in the form of free downloads or native operating system programmes that appear to be trustworthy software. Trojans can be set up via social engineering strategies like phishing or bait websites.
|A worm is a self-contained software that spreads its copies to other systems and duplicates itself. A worm can spread via phishing or smishing, or it can infect its victim using a software flaw. Until the targeted system runs out of resources, embedded worms can modify and delete data, inject further malicious software, or replicate themselves.
|Rootkit malware is a type of software that allows attackers to take control of a computer network or application. The malicious programme, once started, creates a backdoor exploit and may distribute more viruses.
|Any malware aimed specifically at mobile devices is referred to as mobile malware. Malicious downloads, flaws in the operating system, phishing, smishing, and the usage of public WiFi are all ways that mobile malware is spread.
|An exploit is a piece of software or data that takes advantage of a flaw in an app or operating system to give unauthorised attackers access. The exploit might be used to steal data or spread other malware.
|Scareware convinces users that their machine is afflicted with a virus. Scareware typically appears as a pop-up notifying the user that their system is infected. This fear strategy attempts to encourage individuals to install bogus antivirus software in order to remove the “virus.” Once you have downloaded this bogus antivirus programme, malware may infiltrate your machine.
|Keyloggers are software applications that record what a user types on a device. While keyloggers have useful and legal applications, many of them are malicious. The keylogger programme records every keystroke on the victim’s device and delivers it to the attacker in a keylogger attack.
|A botnet is a collection of maliciously infected computers that is commanded by a bot herder. The individual who manages the botnet infrastructure is known as the “bot herder,” and he or she employs the compromised computers to launch assaults meant to bring down a target’s network, install malware, steal login information, or carry out CPU-intensive operations.
2. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack
When a server is the target of a DDoS attack, the attacker effectively floods it with traffic in an effort to disrupt and maybe even bring it down. The most advanced firewalls can recognise and respond to classic denial-of-service attacks, but a DDoS attack might use a number of hacked devices to flood the target with traffic.
A Phishing attack occurs when an attacker attempts to dupe an unsuspecting victim into divulging sensitive information such as passwords, credit card information, intellectual property, and so on. Phishing attempts generally arrive in the form of an email appearing to be from a reputable agency. Such as your bank, the tax department, or some other trustworthy entity. Phishing is perhaps the most popular sort of cyber-attack, largely because it is easy to carry out, and surprisingly effective.
4. Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM)
An attacker performing a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack intercepts a discussion between the two individuals in an effort to spy on the targets, obtain sensitive data or login credentials, or possibly even change the conversation in some way. Nowadays, MITM attacks are less frequent because most email and chat systems use end-to-end encryption, which makes it impossible for outside parties to tamper with data being sent across a network, whether that network is secure or not.
Spoofing is a method used by cybercriminals to pose as a reputable or well-known source. By doing this, the adversary can interact with the target and get access to their systems or devices with the ultimate purpose of stealing data, demanding money, or infecting the device with malware or other malicious software.
6. SQL Injection
SQL injection is a type of cyber attack where an attacker tries to exploit vulnerabilities in a web application’s database. By inserting malicious SQL statements into the application’s input fields. This can allow the attacker to bypass security measures and gain unauthorized access to the database, steal sensitive information, or modify or delete data.
For example, an attacker might enter a malicious SQL statement into a login form that allows them to log in without a valid username and password. Or they might use SQL injection to manipulate the application’s database. To display sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or passwords.
To protect against SQL injection attacks, developers should use parameterized queries and input validation techniques to ensure that user input is properly sanitized and not vulnerable to injection. Additionally, web application firewalls can be used to detect and block SQL injection attempts. Users can also protect themselves by being cautious about the websites they visit and the information they provide.
7. Zero-day Exploit
A zero-day exploit is a type of cyber attack that can have devastating consequences for individuals and organizations alike. Essentially, a zero-day exploit takes advantage of a software vulnerability that is unknown to the developer or vendor. Which can give an attacker a window of opportunity to launch an attack before the vulnerability is discovered and patched.
Zero-day exploits can be used to gain unauthorized access to systems, steal sensitive information, or spread malware. They are often used by advanced persistent threat (APT) groups and nation-state actors to conduct targeted attacks.
- To protect against zero-day exploits, it’s important to keep your software and operating system up-to-date with the latest security patches.
- It’s also important to use a reputable antivirus and anti-malware software to help detect and block attacks.
- Additionally, it’s a good idea to be cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on links from unknown sources.
8. Password Attack
It is a type of attack in which a hacker cracks your password using numerous password cracking programmes and tools such as Aircrack, Cain, Abel, John the Ripper, Hashcat, and others. Password attacks are classified into three types: brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and keylogger attacks.
Several methods for preventing password attacks are listed below:
- To protect against Password Attack use strong alphanumeric passwords that include special characters.
- Use different passwords for different websites or accounts.
- Update your passwords to reduce your vulnerability to a password attack.
- There should be no password clues visible.
Cryptojacking is a type of cyber attack where hackers use your computer to mine cryptocurrencies without your permission. This can slow down your computer and cause it to overheat.
Attacker can use several methods to Cryptojacking, such as by injecting a virus onto your computer or by exploiting security flaws in websites. Once they get into your computer, they can use its processing power to solve complex mathematical problems that generate cryptocurrency rewards for the attacker.
- To protect yourself from cryptojacking, you can use good antivirus software.
- Keep your computer’s software up to date.
- Use ad blockers or browser extensions that block crypto-mining scripts.
- You should also keep an eye on your computer’s performance and energy usage to see if anything strange is happening.
10. Cross-site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of cyber attack where an attacker injects malicious code into a web page that other users view. This can be done through a vulnerability in a web application or by tricking users into clicking on a link that takes them to a malicious page.
When a user visits an infected web page, malicious code is executed on their computer, allowing the attacker to steal sensitive information. Such as login credentials, personal information or credit card numbers. The attack can also be used to take control of a victim’s computer or to spread the attack to other users.
There are several types of XSS attacks, including:
- Reflected XSS: This involves the attacker injecting code into a URL or a web form. Which is then reflected back to the user in the server’s response. The user’s browser then executes the malicious code, allowing the attacker to steal information or take control of the victim’s computer.
- Stored XSS: This involves the attacker injecting code into a web page that is then stored on the server and displayed to other users. When the other users view the infected page, the malicious code executes on their computers.
- DOM-based XSS: This involves the attacker injecting code into the Document Object Model (DOM) of a web page. Which is then executed by the user’s browser. This type of attack can be more difficult to detect and prevent than other types of XSS.