8 Worst Types of Cybersecurity Attacks & Best Ways To Stay Protected
By Johan Curtis 11 minutes
Cyberattacks have become a very popular tool to cause damage to individuals, companies, businesses, and countries. Most people or normal users don’t have much knowledge about cyberattacks are and how serious they can be. Here in this article, we are going to talk about some of the most popular cyberattacks by hackers so that you are able to understand how they work and how you can prevent them from happening to yourself and others.
Before we discuss the types, lets first discuss what cyberattack really is. A cyberattack is a dangerous attack on the internet that is spearheaded by hackers or criminal organizations to steal money, financial information, intellectual assets, or just hinder business operations.
Cyberattacks have caused around $500 billion worth of damage in 2015. Not just that, it is expected to increase to 2 million dollars till 2019 which makes it scarier if you think about it.
List of Cyber Attacks and It’s Types
There are numerous types of cyberattacks that have turned deadly in different situations. Here is the list of the different cyberattacks.
A malware is a computer virus or a malicious program that is created to do damage to a system or a company (through their computers). Some viruses will only do small harm, either slowing your system down or be crashing it repeatedly. Then there is malware that will take full control of your computer, ordering you to pay money, or sending your confidential data to their own servers so that they can use it later against you.
The real question is: how does a malware get inside a computer? You may be surprised to hear that it comes to your system with your consent. Meaning, you may deliberately or accidentally download a file or application without checking if it’s safe, and when you open the file, the virus spreads like a fire and starts collecting information about you and your data on the system.
There are different types of a malware:
Spyware, as the name suggests, is a program that will spy you and your computer activities, secretly collection data about you. They can use data such as your passwords, photos, and even credit card data against you and cost you some money. This type of malware isn’t that dangerous and can be removed with the help of an antivirus or malware software.
The rootkit is a very complicated type of malware and is difficult to find and remove. It is designed in a way that you wouldn’t be able to find it easily, while the hacker will spy on you and will be able to do anything he wants with you and your computer. Rootkits can easily attack the BIOS (the deepest layer) of your computer and can’t be detected or deleted by any antivirus software. We can say that it is one of the worst kinds of malware right now.
The blended threat is a type of malware attack in which multiple malware works together to cause damage to a computer. It is a mixture of Trojans, viruses, worms, ransomware, etc. due to all these threats coming together, the malware spreads quickly and cause extreme damage to a system.
Botnet attack is a cluster of computers infected and then controlled by a single server simultaneously. This type of cluster or network is severe attacks like DDoS.
Ransomware is a kind of malicious program designed to hack and lock your system until you pay sums of money to the attacker. The most popular ransomware to date is the “cryptolocker” which took $3 million to stop the attack. Recently, “WannaCry Ransomware” hack around 45,000 devices and system across Europe, affecting 100s of organizations and business to collapse.
Trojan horse is one of the most common malware attacks that can trick you into believing it to be a normal file from your system. This malware contains harmful codes that can cause loss of files and data in your computer. Trojans are often used as a way out for attackers so that they can get out of your computer before they get caught.
It is a harmful code that can track everything you do online. It is also used to feed you ads online so that advertisers can find you easily and quickly. This type of malware usually comes as an attachment to free software and programs.
This a very intelligent malware that will consistently look for vulnerability in a computer until it finds one. It does that by analyzing your internet traffic and then find a vulnerability that can be used to attack your computer. Firefox and Chrome are some of the applications vulnerable to exploit kit attacks.
Logic bombs and time bombs
Logic and time bombs are malicious codes injected into a network. Both are called bombs because they are intended to be activated at a specific time or after certain conditions are fulfilled. They are used for deleting a database of any organization, protecting corrupted code, and also to use the personal data of a victim.
All these types of malware attacks are dangerous, and can easily destroy your computer or device data. Considering the increasing number of attacks each year, it is recommended to use good antiviruses and malware software to deal with these kinds of attacks.
Phishing is one of the most dangerous cyberattacks. In phishing attacks, the hacker will send you tons of emails, hoping that you will open at least one. These emails will come in form of clickbait or promotional emails to persuade you to open them immediately. Attackers know how to play with your mind so they will send you emails with attractive titles and you may want to open them to know if what the email says is true. The email may include an attachment or a link. When you open the attachment, the malware will go straight to your drive. If you click the link, it’ll redirect you to a fake website that asks you to log in to get access to the file. Don’t open the attachments or click on the links, and most importantly, do not ever open these emails.
Spear phishing is one of the types of phishing attacks, but this one is more targeted towards the victim. In this case, you will get an email from the attacker who pretends to your bank or other trusted entity. The attacker will ask you to provide your login credentials for your bank account. If you accidentally provided them the information, you will lose your money from the bank account. If you use the same credentials for other networks or bank, then you will get in a much bigger problem and may lose all your money.
3. SQL Injection Attack
Structure query language (SQL) is a programming language that is used for communication with a database. Most company’s use SQL server to store important data for their business. A SQL injection attack is designed to get access to vulnerable data in these servers through malicious code. For instance, if you run a company that uses SQL servers for storing customer’s information, attackers can easily get this information when they attack the server with SQL injection attacks. Worse, some hackers lock up all the information so that the site’s SQL server cannot access them anymore.
4. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a similar attack to SQL injection attack; only this one targets the site visitors instead of the website server. The attacker sends a malicious code to your browser, so when a user visits your website, their information will be directed to the hacker’s system. This could make your customers or visitors unhappy seeing their personal and financial info being risked from your website.
5. Denial of Service (DoS) Attack
Denial of service (DoS) attack can shut down your website for your users or visitors. A good explanation of this is when a site is flooded with huge traffic, the website will overload its server and make it impossible for the users to access the website.
Another version of this attack is the DDoS attack. Distributed Denial of Service attack is executed on different computers around the globe simultaneously, making it difficult for cyber agencies to prevent the attack.
6. Session Hijacking and Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
When browsing the internet, your computer connects with different servers around the world allowing them to know who you are and where you’re accessing from. In normal scenarios, the web server grants you access to whatever you want to do. The session happens whether you are browsing or logging into a site with your account credentials.
This session between your PC and the web server is assigned a unique session ID which must have to stay private no matter what. However, attackers can hijack this session by stealing the session ID. Here they will be able to access the web server as an unsuspecting user. There are different methods attackers use to steal the session ID, like the XSS attack to hijack the session ID.
7. Credential Reuse
There are so many social and messaging platforms for users that it has become difficult to use different usernames and passwords for each one. Most users use the same ID and password to make life easier. Even though it is recommended to use unique ID and passwords for each application or website you access, many people still reuse the same password, which is something attackers take the most advantage of.
Once the attacker obtains a collection of ID’s and passwords from a breached site, they can try the same credentials on other websites and applications, and if lucky, they may be able to log into that as well and gather all the user’s information and use it against them to get money. This is the reason why you need to have different passwords for every website and application you access. You can also use password managers to manage various credentials you use.
8. Social Engineering attacks
A social engineering attack allows the attacker to contact the victim and manipulate him/her. Since the attacker is not he/she pretend to be, all they want is to gain access to the personal and financial data of the victim.
Here are some of the types of social engineering attacks carried out by cybercriminals:
Vishing – Voice Phishing
In this type of attack, the victim is called by the attacker who wants to take your money by pretending that they are bank clerks or some other person who wants to get access to your confidential data. If you give them the information they ask without thinking a second, they will use that info and take all your money without you even realizing.
Customer support Scams
Customer support scam is a very popular cyber-attack. In this attack, the attacker will call a person who is not so good with computers, informing them that there is a problem with their hardware or software and if the person doesn’t pay some money, the system might turn into a disaster. Normally, many individuals fall for such stupidity and give the attacker huge sums of money.
Catfishing is an attack where the attacker uses online dating websites pretending to be someone and persuading an emotionally vulnerable person to give them a certain amount of money so that they can solve their financial issues. The attacker will only use texting to talk to the victim and never meet him/her in person since the scammer doesn’t want that and he may have told that he lives in another country. Then the attacker will make up a story to persuade you to give them the money they urgently need. Not only will the victim lose their money but also end up emotionally broken.
That’s it! These were some of the most common and deadly cyberattacks and you may have now learnt a thing or two about what they are and how to deal with them.
We hope that we are able to tell you everything about cyberattacks and how to deal with them. You can let your friends and family, and make them realize the danger of downloading and installing certain apps and programs. In order to protect yourself from these cyberattacks, you must protect your computer from the first to the last layer. Download and install an antivirus software that will protect your computer from unwanted programs and malicious viruses, and then get yourself the FastestVPN to protect yourself from scammers and maintain your internet privacy. Both are effective in cyber attack prevention, so use them if you want to secure yourself against cyberattacks. There are a lot of best WordPress security plugins that can prevent you from cyber attacks.