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Top 7 Cyber Security Attacks in Real Life

Top 7 Cyber Security Attacks in Real Life
most common cyber security attacks

Cyber security attacks are the type of actions that are designed to destroy, steal, modify, or disable information through unauthorized access to computer systems. But, before diving into the Cyber security attacks, if you’re curious on How Cyber security is important to our lives? Read this!

Globally, India in 2021 was among top three nations that experienced most server access & ransomware attacks. While the attackers can launch campaigns with the advent of network-based ransomware worms & this is possible without human intervention, says Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Report.

Most of the time, the attackers aimed to cause economic destruction. But, recently attackers’ goal has shifted to destructing the data. And yes! There are numerous types of attacks. Here, we’ve listed the 7 most common types of cyber attacks. Have a quick peek below-

Cyber Security Attack: #1 Phishing 

Phishing is a type of attack that involves fraudulent communications, mostly through emails to unsuspecting users, & appears to be coming from a reliable or trustworthy source. In this way, attackers attempt to grab sensitive information like financial information or user-base information from the target. 

The name ‘Phishing’ has its roots in the word ‘fishing’, where the attackers use the trustworthy senders’ names as bait to access the forbidden & confidential information.

Get familiar with the terminology of phishing attacks-

  • Spear Phishing – Targets to attack a specific individual, organization or business.
  • Vishing – Fraudulent through phone calls or voice messages appearing to be from reputable companies.
  • Smishing –  Fraudulent through text messages purporting to be from trustworthy companies
  • Whaling – Targets to attack high-profile/senior executives or stakeholders of a business.

Don’t be surprised to know that about 83% of organizations in India saw rise in phishing attacks during pandemic 2020-21, according to the ‘Phishing Insights 2021’ by Sophos.

Cyber Security Attack #2: Denial-of-Service (DOS)

DOS attacks intend to shut down a targeted computer or network while making it inaccessible to its intended users. Also, these attacks work by flooding the target with huge traffic, or by sending information to the target that triggers a crash.

When more than one computer or network is used to flood/attack a targeted resource then such an attack is known as Distributed denial-of-service(DDoS).

The recent DDoS attacks are found by Researchers from Qihoo 360 is through ‘Gargantuan botnet’ – a new botnet with more than 10,000 infected devices,  literally capable of launching DDoS attacks left, right & center.

Cyber Security Attack #3: Password Attack 

You’d have heard of it earlier or understood just by the name. Password hackings are easy way to gain access to confidential & critical data or systems. We all are well aware of the fact that passwords are the most widespread method of authentication. But did you wonder what’s deep in it? Let’s see –

Password attackers use social engineering skills. They’d sometimes test the network connection to obtain unencrypted passwords, or gain access to the database of passwords. And, needless to mention, sometimes they’d simply guess the passwords. 

Here are two mainstream classifications in Password Attack.

  1. Brute force attack, where many possible key permutations are checked to decode the right password.
  2. Dictionary attack, where only the words with most possibilities of success(most probable words) are checked. This attack process takes less time than a brute force attack.

Quick tip to avoid password attacks!

Its is wise to follow ‘two-factor authentication’. Also, enabling the ‘user lockout feature’ helps freeze the account out after a number of invalid password attempts. The two-factor authentication boosts the security by requiring the user logging in to enter a secondary code which is exclusively sent to their 2FA device(s) like mobile phones for validation. 

Attack #4: SQL Injection

This attack method is similar to the usage of cheat codes for winning a game. The injection of a malicious code into a server using SQL(Server Query Language), & further forcing the server to reveal the protected information. Also, an attacker can get control of administrator operations such as a shutdown command, which interrupts the functioning of the database. That’s how attackers win through malicious code. 

To ensure the prevention of SQL injections, the developers of the application/site can enforce input validation and parameterized queries that include prepared statements.

Attack #5: Cross-site Scripting

Most popularly known as XSS attacks. Infamously, these attackers also use malicious scripts, but by means of content on trustworthy websites. Well precisely, When the user logs in as a legitimate user, clicks on the content, & the execution of malicious script takes place. Thus, the transmission of the malicious script happens through clickable content & target’s browser receives it. Eventually, the user’s actions are in favor of the attacker’s intentions.

About 86% of the data breaches are occurring at the app level in today’s app-centric world. With the upsurge in the XSS attacks, the application security market projects to grow to $12.9 Billion by 2025. 

Attack #6: Trojan Horses

An age-old tale narrates that the trojan people in the city of troy accepted giant wooden horse assuming it to be a symbol of peace. But, the Greek soldiers hid in that wooden horse to infiltrate once they enter the troy city. Likewise, a malicious program is hid inside a disguised legitimate site. Once the targeted user believes the site and downloads/installs the links that are on it, then the malicious program enables the hackers to penetrate the targeted computed for critical damage.

Beware of downloading or installing anything online unless it’s a verified source!

Attack #7: MITM

Man-in-the-Middle Attack(MITM) – The common type of cyber attack, where an attacker eavesdrop on the communication between a user and the application. The attacker acts as a super-spy between the two targeted parties & illicitly alters or accesses the communicating message before it reaches its destination. Major methods to avoid these MITM attacks are: 

  • End-to-End encryption (WhatsApp uses this strong encryption for secure messaging) 
  • Usage of Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Winding up the binge read…, The bottom line is to realize that there are many other cyber attacks that are complex enough for individuals or organizations to come up with modern & secured solutions.

Of course! The increasing complexity & evolution of attacks widens the demand for cybersecurity professionals. Did you know? There were 3.5 million+ vacant cybersecurity jobs globally (According to Cybersecurity Ventures’ survey). 

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Lahari Chandana
Lahari Chandana

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