Cyber Attacks: 5 most common types
Cyber security breaches have been on the rise in recent times. The effects of these cyber-attacks take a toll on the national infrastructure and the lives of the affected individuals. Almost everyone is aware of the amount of damage these security breaches can cause, but barely anyone prepares themselves for when these damages eventually occur.
Anyone can be a victim of a cyber-security attack irrespective of where they live or what they do. These breaches can be in the form of ransomware or targeted email phishing attacks, and sometimes, they are identity thefts and network infiltrations. There are different forms of cyber-attacks. For instance, not all of these attacks are meant to grant a hacker entry into your system and data.
We took the time and effort to curate a list of 10 of the most common cyber security breaches and attacks. At the end of this article, we guarantee that you would be equipped with the knowledge required to protect your system. After all, knowing the potential cause of a problem is the first step to preventing and ruling out the possibility of its occurrence.
Phishing attacks are deceptive emails and messages that trick unsuspecting individuals to give up confidential credentials that can grant hackers entry into a system. These hackers, under the guise of legitimate organizations such as a bank or an ISP, will contact random or targeted people asking them to provide important details such as usernames, passcodes, and credit card digits.
These messages can be so deceptive that quite a number of people actually fall for these scams and end up losing funds or confidential information.
These messages can only be harmful if you engage or provide the required information. Do not click links or attachments in suspicious emails unless you’ve contacted the company via their official line to confirm the legitimacy of these messages.
You can refer to these phishing scams as social engineering. This means that they employ psychological manipulation to lure and convince unsuspecting victims to reveal vital information.
2) SQL Injection attack
SQL injection attacks are breaches into unsecured servers. These breaches grant the hackers entry into the system and allow them to manipulate data as they wish.
When hackers enter an unsecured system, they sometimes create new accounts, delete existing records, manipulate figures, and even make purchases and payments using the existing funds. To gain entry into the system, the hackers enter malicious SQL codes into forms and process these forms with the database server.
These attacks are not only carried out to gain entry into a system, but they are also means of cyber espionage. They can be performed using web applications, oracle forms, and Microsoft Access. For your safety, you should provide your database server with maximum security. Get a new provider, and lock them down as soon as possible.
You should ensure that your database servers cannot be accessed from the internet. Secure them with a firewall and security measures if they are currently accessible to prevent breaches.
It would be best if you keep a record of the people who have access to your servers. This way, when there is an unauthorized entry, you can immediately restrict their access and remove their privileges.
3) (MitM) Attack: Man in the Middle Attack
As the name implies, a man-in-the-middle attack is a form of attack where a third party interrupts the communication between two parties without their knowledge. This hacker transmits messages to the two parties and lures them into believing they are communicating directly with themselves.
This attack occurs when one party sends a message to the intended receiver, the message goes through the hacker who in turn tweaks the message before forwarding it to the intended recipient. Communication between the two original parties can take place over a network (e.g the internet) or via direct connections (such as Bluetooth or USB cables).
It is the ‘store and forward’ model for data transmission within computer systems that make these man-in-the-middle attacks possible. This feature allows sent messages to be stored in a queue before being forwarded at a specific time.
The messages are not delivered immediately, they get to wait till there is free bandwidth to allow them to proceed. The delay might not be noticed because it only takes a few seconds for bandwidth to become available.
This method is perfect for emails that are not urgent. Regardless, if the message contains valuable credentials that can be used to illegally enter a system, this approach can turn out to be dangerous, especially for the party whose information is being displayed. If the man in the middle reads this content, they can go through the content and have access to this sensitive information.
End-to-end encryption is the safest method to use when sending messages that contain sensitive information. The encryption guarantees you that no other party has access to the sent messages except you and the intended recipient.
4) (XSS) Attack: Cross-Site Scripting Attack
Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack allows a hacker to input malicious codes into your website. The attacker creates a link on your site without your knowledge or permission, and when visitors click any of these links, they would get access to their computer.
This allows them to steal credentials from your visitors and cause unforeseen havoc. Luckily, you can prevent this from happening. When you use input validation and output encoding features on all your web pages that show user-supplied information, you protect the credentials of your visitors and save them from getting attacked by these hackers.
For instance, if the user’s email address which is being displayed on the webpage can be edited, the code would first validate the authenticity of the email address (i.e check if it is properly structured with an @ sign and a period).
Then, it would proceed to encode characters that email addresses are not allowed to have. This way, a hacker would be unable to scheme malicious codes into them. This is what is known as the input validation and the output encoding.
The primary function of input validation is to ensure that a user’s data is correctly structured and can be utilized to produce expected results. Output encoding, on the other hand, is responsible for transforming non-printable characters into printable characters. This ensures that they do not obstruct your web page’s display.
If you want to prevent an XSS attack completely, you should use a web application firewall (WAF). These firewalls monitor all requests coming into the system. This way, all attackers are restricted from injecting codes into your websites.
5) DoS and DDoS Attack: Denial-of-Service and Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
A denial of service attack stops the original users of a service from gaining entry into the service. They do this by bombarding the server with multiple fake requests. Attackers use botnets to launch these attacks. These botnets allow them to take over other people’s computers and utilize them for their dubious activities.
DoS attacks are similar to Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. In DDoS attacks, the attacker sends requests to the servers using multiple machines. This weakens the server’s defense because there is more than one source of an attack.
DDoS are worse than DoS attacks because their sources are difficult to trace, and the worst part is, that these attacks can be coming from any part of the world. Rescuing servers from these attacks is extremely expensive.
You would need to invest in high-end software, hardware, and man-ware. However, luckily, it is possible to fortify yourself and your server from these DDoS attacks.
To do this, you must ensure that your systems are updated with the latest security features. This way, hackers would be unable to take over them and utilize them as proxies for dubious activities.
There are numerous attacks that you have to be concerned about. Without protection, your system is susceptible to more than one of these attacks. For this reason, you must ensure that they are always fortified with the latest security measures.